Conservation at the Zoo

Species Survival Plan® Programs

Lemur ssp burrowning owl ssp North American Porcupine
The Lake Superior Zoo participates in the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The SSP was created so that AZA-accredited zoos can cooperatively manage threatened and endangered species. Each SSP Program is responsible for managing the breeding of a species to ensure the population remains healthy, the gene pool stays diverse, and the population remains stable.

Our SSP Animals:
African Crested Porcupine • Allen’s Swamp Monkey • Amur Tiger • Angolan Colobus Monkey • Bat-eared Fox • Bennett’s Wallaby • Burrowing Owl • Callimico Monkey • Chinese Goral • Cotton-top Tamarin • Linne’s Two-toed Sloth • Kinkajou • Laughing Kookaburra • North American Porcupine • North American River Otter • Prehensile-tailed Skink • Red Kangaroo • Ring-tailed Lemur • Six-banded Armadillo • Snow Leopard • Spectacled Owl • Spiny Turtle • Straw-colored Fruit Bat • Swift Fox • White-naped Crane

AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction combines the power of zoo & aquarium visitors with the resources and collective expertise of zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and partners to save animals from extinction. Click on the image below to learn more.

Association of Zoos and Aquariums

AZA SAFE Strategic Plan

Sustainability at the Zoo

Conservation of wildlife requires the conservation of natural resources. Therefore, whenever possible, our business operations incorporate sustainable practices that conserve these resources. Here are some examples:

  • Our Tiger Deck features a rooftop garden designed to cool the building in the summer and provide insulation in the winter.
  • The picnic tables on our Tiger Deck are made from polyethylene created from recycled milk jugs.
  • Our organic zoo vegetable garden is watered in part by rain barrels.
  • We use the food we grow in our garden to supplement the zoo animals’ diets.
  • Our carts and zoo train are run on electricity generated from solar panels.
  • The hot water system in our barn is run on solar energy.
  • Our Tiger’s Paw Gift Shop offers a fair trade section highlighting crafts and gifts from globally sustainable organizations.
  • Our Safari Café uses compostable/biodegradable dishes, napkins and utensils and composts and recycles waste.
  • We support local businesses to cut down on emissions caused by shipping of products.
  • Our office supplies contain at least 30% post-consumer recycled content, when possible.
  • Packing materials, office supplies, and plastic bags are reused or brought to a recycling facility.
  • Old cardboard boxes and newspaper are re-purposed as enrichment for our animals.
  • Zoo staff participate in monthly “green challenges” to raise awareness of how our daily choices affect the environment.

Conservation Education

Zoo animals serve as ambassadors for their wild relatives, inspiring visitors to learn about how they can help protect wildlife around the world. Zoo staff are committed to teaching about conservation issues and the important role zoos play in conservation. Through our many programs and talks, we hope visitors leave with a better understanding about how they can help solve the many environmental problems at the root of the current extinction crisis.