Since 1963, this small unique California zoo has been providing sanctuary to some very special animals. All are non-releasable. Many were raised, and rejected, as wild pets. Others were injured or orphaned in the wild. Most are native to North America. All have names and personalities, and their individual stories are posted at the exhibits, along with factual, up-to-date information about their species.The distinctive educational focus of the zoo promotes responsible and appropriate behavior toward all animals. The zoo teaches about common and uncommon animals, both wild and domestic, and includes those in between, like feral pigs and wolf-dog hybrids. Zoo programs stress that wild animals don’t make good pets.
This is not a "mainstream" zoo. Rather, it is a sanctuary in management and philosophy, except that it is open to the public, for a fee, six days a week. Animals live out their lives here. People who "don't like zoos" are generally comfortable here.
Our primary goal is teaching responsible behavior toward all animals. The zoo/sanctuary is not American Zoo and Aquarium accredited because the AZA code of ethics is not in keeping with our own (we don't breed, sell or trade animals.) The zoo is never troubled by animal rights people because we have a mission statement and supporting principles that ensures animals always come first, and are treated as individuals. Actually, we are the champion and darling of some animal rights folks. This zoo features temporary public service informational exhibits. Foals are little known by-products of the estrogen replacement therapy derived from pregnant mare urine. In the past, we have exhibited mustangs in conjunction with the controversial Bureau of Land Management adoption program; longhorn cattle for their historical significance as well as their more recent significance as lean beef animals which are gentler to public range lands than most modern breeds; and livestock guarding dogs with a flock of sheep. Our Black Bears work in conjunction with The National Park Service (out of Yosemite) to test prototpye "bear-proof" food containers for backcountry use. They have sent numerous designs back to the drawing board. The bears also have had design input on "bear-proof" food lockers and trash receptacles. Their work helps the zoo and the National Park Service keep wild bears in the wild.
Statement of Mission
The Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary is historically committed to educational and interpretive concepts, exhibits, and programs that stress the intrinsic worth of every animal as an individual living being, as well as a species. The need for responsible and appropriate behavior toward all animals is expressed throughout the Zoo. Additionally, the importance of preservation of local and world-wide ecosystems through conservation and education is inherent in all Folsom Zoo programs. Primary focus of the collection is on North American native species, with special emphasis on the plight of wild animals raised and rejected as pets, as well as non-releasable injured wildlife, surplus and confiscated wild animals. Special educational emphasis is placed on animals that are indigenous to the Folsom area.
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