The Institutional Mission Statement of the Salisbury Zoological Park affirms that: “The Salisbury Zoological Park is committed to enhancing our quality of life by providing a friendly, relaxing environment where educational and recreational opportunities come together through participation and interaction. With its animals, staff, volunteers, and park-like setting, the Zoo encourages appreciation of wildlife and inspires conservation of our natural world.”
The Zoo identifies conservation as a primary product. Within the boundaries of its financial resources the Zoo recognizes that its principal mission based outcomes will be achieved through its capacity to impact and influence its guests and its community. The Zoo will attempt to provide engaging, nature-based experiences that inspire caring attitudes. Through the caring attitudes of those guests the Zoo will foster actions that embody a sense of stewardship for the living world and the achievement of outcomes that support the conservation of nature.
The Zoo will achieve its conservation outcomes through four primary programs. First, the Zoo will support conservation through the way it manages its living collection. The Zoo will manage its collection in active support of collaborative wildlife conservation programs. As an example the Salisbury Zoo is currently actively involved with five AZA Species Survival Plans: Red Wolf, Ocelot, Jaguar, Andean Bear, and Cotton-Top Tamarin. Secondly the Zoo will present it collection in such a way as to create meaningful engagement with the living world. Those engaging experiences will systematically provide both cognitive and emotive outcomes that will inspire guests and will support future actions consistent with the mission of the Zoo. Thirdly, within the limitations of its financial resources, the Zoo will identify and provide funding for a range of in situ conservation programs. The supported programs will include a mix of regional and international efforts and will focus on the sustainment of biodiversity and local environmental education. Recent support for the on-going efforts to save the vaquita, the highly endangered porpoise, is an example. Lastly the Zoo will attempt to act as a role model for conservation efforts through internally applied standards and practices. The Zoo’s Animal Health Facility became the first City of Salisbury Building to be built to LEED standards.
The Zoo works to include conservation based outcomes within its education plan and will include specific conservation education components within that plan. The Salisbury Zoo education and conservation messages are developed to address local and global conservation and environmental issues in a variety of ways. A conservation message is incorporated into all formal programs and most informal encounters. Through stressing the impact of humans on the environment and by modeling active participation in advocacy, clean-up events and restoration projects, the zoo attempts to empower the local community to take positive action for the environment and encourages guests to become more involved. The Zoo exhibits native and non-native species. Related education programs address habitat destruction, endangered species, wildlife trade, introduced and invasive species and natural resource conservation. The Salisbury Zoo believes through informed actions, we can positively impact world sustainability. Each of us has the power to become stewards of animals and the natural world and inspire others to do the same.