Save a Species

Conservation touches every aspect of the North Carolina Zoo's mission and management. At home, the Zoo minimizes its waste and its consumption of natural resources. Around the world, the Zoo cooperates in field conservation programs. These good works depend almost entirely on donations from private individuals, foundations, corporations and government agencies.

To make a donation in support of your favorite program, please click the appropriate animal photo below.

African Elephants

small_elephantThis conservation campaign has been protecting African elephants from poachers for nearly two decades and provides important information on the movements and habitat requirements of elephants living in and around national parks and other reserves in Cameroon and Nigeria. To protect these elephants, the North Carolina Zoo's veterinary staff partner with local biologists and rangers and use satellite technology to monitor elephant movements. The information allows rangers to divert herds away from unsafe areas and provides data that researchers and government officials use to plan for the elephants' future needs.


Cross River Gorillas

small_CRGThe Cross River Gorilla is Africa's most endangered ape; currently, only about 250 Cross River Gorillas are thought to remain in the wild. The Zoo's Curator of Conservation and Research, Dr. Rich Bergl, is a leading researcher in the worldwide effort to protect this species. Your gift to this program will help researchers work to save this rare ape from extinction.

Box Turtles

small_box_turtleThe Zoo Society cooperates with the Box Turtle Conservation Workshop Committee to support the Lucille R. Stickel Box Turtle Research Award. Donated funds support research that contributes to the survival of wild box turtles, and in doing so continues the life's work of Lucille Stickel, a biologist who died in 2007.

Red Wolves

small_red_wolfThe NC Zoo Society funded the construction of off-exhibit breeding and reintroduction facilities for the Red Wolf, North America’s most endangered canid and an animal once extinct in the wild. The Zoo maintains a group of Red Wolves as part of the overall Red Wolf conservation program. Several wolves from the Zoo have been reintroduced to the wild and roam free in the Red Wolf Recovery Area in northeastern North Carolina.


small_hellbenderHellbenders are large salamanders that bear the affectionate nickname “snot otters." The name alludes to a slimy mucus that coats their skin. Like other amphibians, many hellbender populations are experiencing steep declines, with some populations falling by 77 percent or more. John Groves, the NC Zoo's former Curator of Amphibians and Reptiles is a leading authority on Hellbenders and has partnered with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to study and protect the Appalachian Hellbenders population.

Polar Bears

small_polar_bearIn partnership with Polar Bears International, the North Carolina Zoo is working to protect the Arctic from Global Climate Change by engaging in a variety of initiatives to both reduce its carbon footprint and to educate the public about ways individuals can work with us and with other organizations to protect air quality and the environment. The Zoo supports Polar Bears International efforts to conduct research that looks for ways to protect the Arctic environment and wild Polar Bears.