The American Association of Zookeepers celebrates the third week of July each year as National Zookeeper Week. “As the need to protect and preserve our wildlife and vanishing habitats has increased, our role as educators and wildlife ambassadors has become essential,” states the organizations website.

Georgia has a large community working to conserve animals and their habitats and educate the rest of us on why that is important. National Zookeepers Week provides an excellent opportunity to visit local facilities providing education to the public. And in Georgia, there are quite a few such places. Below is a list of places around the state that are open for visits from the general public. Check out the links for each one for hours of operation as well as pricing (some cost just $3!). The list is probably not exhaustive, so feel free to leave other locations open to the public in the comments.

Atlanta area
Zoo Atlanta
Georgia Aquarium
Cochran Mill Nature Center in Palmetto
Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn

North Georgia
North Georgia Zoo in Cleveland
Tanglewood Farm Miniatures in Canton (You can actually see a Georgia Traveler show about this one online!)

Central Georgia
Noah’s Ark Rehabilitation Center in Locust Grove

Southeast Georgia
UGA’s Marine Education Center and Aquarium in Savannah
Obediah’s Okefenok in Waycross

Southwest Georgia
The Parks at Chehaw in Albany
Flint RiverQuarium in Albany
Pine Mountain Wild Animal Park

Georgia is also home to several animal conservation programs that are not open to visitors, like the Kangaroo Conservation Center in Dawsonville. Regardless of where you are in Georgia, you are not far away from an enriching, educational animal conservation program.