Mill Mountain Zoo is located within Mill Mountain Park, a beautiful 568-acre regional park which is maintained by Roanoke Parks and Recreation. Located at the top of Mill Mountain just off the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, the zoo overlooks the city of Roanoke and the surrounding mountain vistas The zoo was founded in 1952 and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit operated by the Blue Ridge Zoological Society. Our mission at the Mill Mountain Zoo is to promote an appreciation and understanding of wildlife and habitat preservation through the use of quality exhibits and educational programs, and to work in cooperation with other animal conservation programs. Our facility advances three core beliefs: excellence in the implementation of the highest standards of animal care, conservation management of endangered species and fostering science education through its animal collection. While a recreational attraction, the zoo strives to provide an enjoyable experience for visitors, within the context of an educational organization dedicated to the natural sciences and management of captive animal species.
We are active participants in cooperative conservation programs with other zoos with species such as Snow leopards, Red pandas, and Pallas cats. Our animal collection continues to grow and evolve as our facility moves in a new strategic direction with our Virginia Wild concept. This new direction for the zoo will focus on species that are native to Appalachia and the Blue Ridge Mountains in particular. Highlighted species in the future will include Black bear, Bald eagles, Bobcat, and North American river otters that will join many of the species that are already here at the zoo such as the Great Horned owl, Red foxes, Raccoon, Red wolves, and Cougar. Our goal is to introduce new generations to their native wildlife and educate them that conservation starts right here at home. However, we still plan to continue forward with maintaining Snow leopards and a few other Asian species so that we can educate our patrons about the threats posed to endangered, threatened, and vulnerable species that inhabit mountain ranges far away as well. As a result, we are adding new exhibits and renovating existing structures to expand our animal collection and advance our educational programming while better serving our visitors.
Today, the Mill Mountain Zoo is the only major non-profit wildlife attraction on the entire 469-mile span of Blue Ridge Parkway, and enjoys continued success thanks to the support of the community, philanthropic organizations, and private donors.
Unlike many city zoos, Mill Mountain Zoo does not receive a large portion of its funding from municipal sources. Mill Mountain Zoo’s current annual budget is funded primarily by admissions, concessions, education programs, events, and private donations.It costs $2500 per day to run the zoo, and winter can be particularly difficult as our admissions drop during the colder months. In addition to needing funds to help us feed and care for the animals, Mill Mountain Zoo needs (2) replacement heat and air pumps for both the upstairs of our administrative cabin and the downstairs, where our education animal ambassadors live. As you may know, the cabin has also been home to several of the young animals born at the zoo that required hand-rearing by staff, most recently our Pallas cat kittens. The units, along with installation cost $3500 each. We are also hoping to raise another $500 for winter supplies to help with animal care.
Donate today and help us care for the animals (and the administrative staff) by keeping them warm and safe this winter. Thank you for your support of our furry, feathery and scaly friends!