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About American Association of Zoo Keepers

The American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) is a professional organization for zookeepers and other animal care staff in the United States and Canada. The goal of the organization is two-fold:  to support worthy conservation efforts both locally and globally, and to educate and develop zoo keepers in a professional setting. Local chapters in each area of the country support national AAZK. Currently there are almost 80 chapters, which include staff from zoos, aquariums, animal parks, and breeding and research centers. Student and affiliate members are also encouraged to join, connecting them with other professionals and worthy conservation projects. AAZK offers an online forum for exchanging ideas and information, a professional publication (Animal Keeper's Forum), and an annual national conference where delegates can present papers, attend workshops, and receive updates from conservation fieldwork. Get more information about National AAZK

National AAZK Mission Statement
The mission of The American Association of Zoo Keepers is to advance excellence in the animal keeping profession, foster effective communication beneficial to animal care, support deserving conservation projects, and promote the preservation of our natural resources and animal life.

National AAZK Vision Statement
Dedicated to professional animal care, the vision of AAZK is to provide a resource for professional development, enrichment, training, and conservation for zoo keepers and animal care professionals. AAZK will advance effective communication beneficial to animal care through publications, conferences and online resources. AAZK seeks to cultivate quality animal care by making available the latest techniques and resources in animal husbandry and management and by recognizing the efforts of groups and individuals for excellence in advancing the animal keeping profession and promoting conservation efforts. AAZK recognizes the role that our profession plays in the conservation and preservation of our wildlife and their habitats and encourages and promotes the support of deserving conservation projects through individual, chapter, and national endeavors. Through its Board of Directors, chapters, committees, conferences, and workshops, AAZK strives to encourage initiative in order to help develop future leaders in today’s zoos and aquariums.

About Our AAZK Chapter

Utah Chapter AAZK was founded in 1989. Our organization has historically been made up of keepers from Utah's Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, UT. In recent years our chapter has grown to include members of the Tracy Aviary (SLC) and the Living Planet Aquarium (Draper). 

Our chapter started out with a small, dedicated group of zoo keepers and as we grew, our organization and fundraisers became more sophisticated. We have been hosting Bowling for Rhinos, National AAZK's flagship conservation fundraiser, for more than 20 years and have raised more than $185,590 to date.  Get more information on current and past fundraisers

AAZK is committed to supporting local and global conservation efforts. The majority of our fundraisers are focused on increasing our monetary donation to worthy organizations. Although we have a long-standing relationship with many of our conservation groups, we are always on the look-out for other exciting conservation opportunities!  See a list of past and current conservation organizations supported by Utah Chapter AAZK.

In 2008 Utah Chapter AAZK was proud to host the National AAZK Conference in Salt Lake City.  It was a chance for us to show off our city, our zoo and aviary, and hospitality.  The conference was a huge success and solidified our chapter's dedication to AAZK.

Future plans for our chapter include expanding our membership to the other animal care institutions in the Salt Lake City area, researching new fund raising opportunities, and expanding the professional development side of AAZK with talks and workshops.  Come join us! 

Utah AAZK Mission Statement
Our mission as members of the Utah Chapter of AAZK is to demonstrate leadership in the animal care profession. We are dedicated to promoting public awareness, advancing animal care, enhancing professional development and contributing to conservation through fundraising and stewardship. Our goal is to inspire and motivate through our roles as animal caregivers, educators and conservationists. In partnership with Utah’s Hogle Zoo, we are committed to excellence, professional animal care and to the preservation of nature both locally and globally.


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