The Buffalo Zoological Gardens is the third oldest institution of its kind in the United States. The Zoo's mission is to provide the general public with an educationally, culturally and recreationally significant community resource. This is accomplished through the advancement and encouragement of the science of zoology, through the conservation of the world's wildlife and through the innovative exhibition of diverse species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish.
Originally conceived as a deer park in the northeast corner of Frederick Law Olmsted's Delaware Park, The Buffalo Zoo was established in 1875. Spurred on by local donations of animals, The Zoo grew and rapidly developed between 1875 and 1930 and attracted great community interest and involvement. This growth led to the Zoological Society of Buffalo being founded in 1931. The Society worked with the City of Buffalo to effect many improvements to The Zoo over the next four decades. Included in this period was a major renovation (1938-1942) by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which featured buildings using classic, period architecture.