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Zoo Knoxville is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation chartered by the state of Tennessee and contracted by the City of Knoxville to manage the operations of Zoo Knoxville. The board meets six times each year and approves the annual budget at the December meeting.

The mission of Zoo Knoxville is to celebrate the wonders of the natural world. Through education, conservation, exhibition, research, and recreation, the zoo will tell the stories of the animals, the plants, and the people who make up the communities of the earth. The zoo will help develop positive attitudes and actions about nature and about conservation as a local and a global issue. Further, the vision is to provide world-class experiences that showcase regional and global resources of the natural world and serve as a magnet for East Tennessee.


The board of directors includes appointments from the City of Knoxville, representation from Knox County Commission, and the community at-large. Non-appointed board members can serve two consecutive three-year terms. Vacant board positions are chosen by a board nominating committee and voted on in December.


Board meets on the third Monday in the months of February, April, June, August, October, and December. Meetings are at 11:30 a.m. at the Zoo at 3500 Knoxville Zoo Dr.