Investing in Conservation, Education and Wonder

With the addition of the aquarium, the Kansas City Zoo & Aquarium will be positioned to conduct new conservation projects to educate guests and increase the Zoo’s role in critical initiatives. These programs include:

  • Working with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program to help consumers choose seafood that is fished or farmed in ways that are healthier for ocean animal welfare and the environment.
  • Helping to ensure the conservation of endangered species of corals found off the coast of the U.S. and in the Caribbean.
  • Partnering with rescue centers to provide a home for sea otters when returning them to the ocean is not a viable option.

Key results of a visitor impact study by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums demonstrate that visits to zoos and aquariums prompt individuals to reconsider their roles in environmental problems and conservation action, and to see themselves as part of the solution. Visitors believe zoos and aquariums play an important role in conservation education and animal care and feel they experience a stronger connection to nature as a result of their visit.

In addition to providing an inspiring visitor experience, the Zoo will also be providing an ocean-themed, standards-aligned curriculum for schools. Our curriculum is already free to all Jackson and Clay county schools and reaches more than 23,000 students annually. This new venture will bring the ocean to area classrooms.

Child looking up toward aquarium tank

"I am a proud lifelong KC resident, and the KC Zoo has always held a special place in my heart. I recall the transformative experiences I had as a child exploring the world of exposure the KC Zoo has to offer. While great improvements have been made in the past, there are none as impactful as the planned addition of the Aquarium. I am excited that the children of Kansas City will get to experience ocean life and habitats at our hometown zoo."

Dr. Dred Scott

President/CE of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City

Adult and baby sea otters in water

Zoo to the Rescue

The addition of an aquarium gives the Kansas City Zoo & Aquarium a chance to participate in an exciting program -- sea otter rescue.

Sea otter pups normally stay with their mothers until they are around 8 months old. Sea otters need a lot of food; they must eat nearly 25% of their body weight per day to maintain their body temperature.

While pup mothers are searching for food, their sea otter pups sometimes either become lost or left by their mothers. This is often caused by well-meaning passersby who hear a pup’s cries of distress and think it needs to be “rescued” when it just needs to wait for its mother’s return.

Unfortunately, when pups are removed from their habitat, sometimes they cannot be reintroduced into the wild. That’s when aquariums, such as the one to be built at the Kansas City Zoo & Aquarium, are needed to receive the rescued pups and give them a lasting home away from home with the ability to provide all the care they need.

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