Zoo Atlanta*is a zoological park that is accredited in the*Association of Zoos and Aquariums*(AZA) in*Atlanta,*Georgia. Founded in 1889, the Zoo is the oldest cultural destination in Atlanta and is one of the oldest operating zoological institutions in the United States.
It houses over 1,300 animals in about 220 species. The zoo is also home to the nation?s largest collections of gorillas and orangutans, and one of only four zoos in the U.S. currently housing*giant pandas.
Zoo Atlanta dates back in the year 1890?s, when businessman George V. Gress purchased a traveling circus that went bankrupt and donated the animals to the city of Atlanta. The Zoo?s collection was expanded in the 30?s with the personal donation of a private collection of animals that was owned by*Asa G. Candler, Jr.
The Zoo was privatized in 1985 with the creation of a nonprofit organization, Atlanta Fulton-County Zoo Inc., and was renamed Zoo Atlanta in the same year. Over a 20-year period of aggressive restoration and revitalization followed, marked by several significant exhibit openings in the late 1980s and early 1990s.