Welcome to PARISthe Program Animal Rating and Information System!


The goal of PARIS is to give program animal managers a space where they can more efficiently research species they are interested in adding to their collection, as well as sharing the combined knowledge of experienced program animal professionals to identify and encourage best practices in program animal management.

There are two parts to this project. The first is a simple rating system. Managers from across AZA will rate the species in their collection for their suitability in educational programming. Results from all the "votes" will be averaged and posted online. This way, managers can see an a glance how their colleagues feel about particular species. To download the rating system so that your opinions can be counted, simply click the link below. When you have finished filling it out, email it to the PARIS Administrator, Stephanie Eller, at eller.stephanie at phillyzoo.org. It's a pretty quick form: most people can complete it in under half an hour.




The second part is a wiki that has more detailed information about each species included in the rating system. This allows managers to pool their experiences and knowledge in order to teach each other about each species. The information on this site will allow managers who are researching a new species to figure out if that species will work at their particular institution. It will also give managers who already have a species in their collection a chance to see how other institutions are caring for that same species - and maybe improve their husbandry or presenting techniques.


Editors from this wiki come from across the United States, from AZA-accredited institutions both big and small. Every editor is a professional working directly with program animals - educators, keepers, and managers. The diversity in the editor ranks gives the wiki a broad range of information. Our current list of editors includes program animal professionals from the following institutions:


  • REC's Baton Rouge Zoo
  • Brevard Zoo
  • Buffalo Zoo
  • Busch Gardens, Tampa
  • Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
  • Children's Zoo at Celebration Square
  • Columbus Zoo & Aquarium
  • CuriOdyssey
  • Denver Zoo
  • Downtown Aquarium, Denver
  • El Paso Zoo
  • Fresno Chaffee Zoo
  • Greensboro Science Center
  • Hamill Family Play Zoo at Brookfield Zoo
  • Henry Vilas Zoo
  • Houston Zoo
  • Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens
  • John Ball Zoo
  • Lee Richardson Zoo
  • Lincoln Children's Zoo
  • The Living Desert
  • Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
  • Mesker Park Zoo & Botanical Garden
  • Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
  • National Zoological Park
  • North Carolina Zoo
  • Oakland Zoo
  • Philadelphia Zoo
  • Phoenix Zoo
  • Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
  • Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium
  • Roger Williams Park Zoo
  • Saint Louis Zoo
  • San Diego Zoo
  • San Francisco Zoo
  • Seneca Park Zoo
  • Shedd Aquarium
  • South Carolina Aquarium
  • Turtle Back Zoo
  • ZooAmerica
  • Zoo Atlanta
  • Zoo Miami
  • Zoo New England (Stone Zoo)


If you would like to become involved as a content editor, we'd love to have you aboard - email Stephanie Eller (zooparis.info [at] gmail.com) to get an invite!
If you are a brand new editor, see this page for some tips about adding new content. As always, contact Stephanie with any questions, concerns, or feedback!



Note: the ideas shared on this wiki come from individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) or the AZA-accredited facilities employing those individuals. Recommendations on this site about specific program animals may be a compilation of best practices from multiple organizations. Any injuries or illnesses incurred under these suggested guidelines are not the responsibility of the contributors to the Wiki site, the organizations they represent, or AZA. For more information about AZA’s policies regarding program animals, visit https://www.aza.org/education-standards-and-policies/.