Photo of a tiger. Tiger

A zoo is defined as any zoological garden chartered as a nonprofit corporation by the state or any facility participating in the American Zoo and Aquarium Association accreditation program that exhibits wild animals for public viewing. A person or organization cannot operate a zoo without first obtaining a license from the state.

An application for a zoo requires that an environmental evaluation be conducted by the department, with opportunity for public involvement. All wild animals must be confined at all times in cages of such strength and type of construction that it will be impossible for said animals to escape. Completion of the environmental evaluation and inspection of the caging is required prior to authorization for operation as a zoo. Public contact with the wild animals is not allowed. Records must be kept of the history of each wild animal kept at the facility and an annual report of inventory and any changes in that inventory must be submitted along with a renewal fee prior to expiration of the license on December 31.



The application fee and annual permit fee for a zoo is $10 for facilities with less than 5 animals and $25 for facilities with more than 5 animals.