Frequently Asked Questions

Is this real?  Is North Alabama Zoological Society really bringing a zoo and aquarium to North Alabama and the Greater Huntsville Area?


Yes, this is very real. We have been working very dilligently for almost a year now with different local officials, local groups, and other zoos. As many of you have said, "A zoo is what Huntsville has been missing." At times we will need your help. The society is managing the creation and operation of the zoo, but it is really meant to be the community's zoo and something the community can be proud of. As best we can research, the last new zoo built from scratch was 20 years ago and that was Disney's Animal Kingdom. (For those that suddently got hopeful about the possibility of a theme park - sorry we are only building a zoo and aquarium.) There have been a few established zoos moving to a new location, drive through safari parks, and sanctuaries built in those years. Building a new zoo from scratch has some unique challenges comparably. Because this doesn't happen very often, we have recieve a lot of support from the zoo community wanting to be involved in a once in lifetime event.




Who is North Alabama Zoological Society?  How can I be a member?


Most zoos are managed and operated by a nonprofit. North Alabama Zoological Society is a 501(c)(3) registered State of Alabama nonprofit corporation created to be the nonprofit for the combination zoo and aquarium in Greater Huntsville Metro Area. The society itself has no membership, other than the boards of directors - who are all volunteers. There are currently 17 of these volunteers across the 3 different boards. They are local business professionals, engineers, lawyers, influencers, politicians, and homemakers. The homemakers are probably our biggest asset on our boards, because they are the key demographic that most frequent zoos. They have been instrumental in telling us which of our designs are good and which are good for the trash can. The society has plans to roll out a volunteer organization in the near future.




What animals will the zoo have?


Wouldn't it be fun to say... "Lions, and tiger, and Bears, OH MY!" Truthfully, we don't have an answer to that question yet. We will say that there are plans for raccoons to be in our Alabama Wildlife Exhibit. Keep the suggestions coming. We love hearing about your great ideas, and check back for updates!




When will the zoo be here?


It all depends on several factors, but the most obvious one is funding. We are aiming to break ground on the first phase in a couple of years.




Where will the site be?


The cheeky answer is that it will be east of I-65, west of Gurley, south of the Tennessee border, and north of the Tennessee River. The real answer is we are currently working with groups on a few possible locations. We don't want to jeopardize these discussions, so that information will be released at a later date.




Will there be an aquarium?


Yes, there are plans to have a good amount of aquatic species to go along with our land based and avian species. Whenever you hear the society say "zoo", we really mean zoo and aquarium.




I want to work at the zoo.  When are you hiring?


As positions come available, we will be posting them here on the website. Our volunteers will recieve first consideration for all positions. If you would like to be a volunteer, please fill out the Volunteer Form through the Connect menu.




Can you tell us how you are going to take care of the animals and where they will come from?


We appreciate all those who have expressed their concerns for the welfare of the animals that will be housed at the zoo. We truly share those concerns as well. One of the reasons we started this venture was the desire to help animals and be a center where our community members, who share that same desire, can combine resources to make a difference. These animals are ambassadors for their species and natural habitats. We feel a great responsibility and respect for every living entity that comes through the gates of the zoo.

We are working towards being an accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). The model, standards and best practices set by the AZA will be our baseline day one of the zoo. We will strive to go beyond the AZA model to provide the utmost care, conservation, and education. To understand more about how AZA Zoos and Aquariums work to protect and care for animals, we encourage you to visit: how zoos and aquariums protect endangered species and animal care management.

Specifically, we plan to obtain our animals mostly from other zoological facilities. Some will be rescues. Every effort will be made to return animals that come to us from the wild back to the wild. If the animal cannot return to the wild, we will work to find a home that is in the best interest of the animal. We will not sell any animal – ever.




What is the name of the zoo?


The zoo and aquarium presently does not have a name. We are excited to have the community help pick the name. Watch for that announcement to come. Remember that if it doesn't say "A Zoo For You, North Alabama", then North Alabama, its not a zoo for you.





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