Asheboro, NC - The North Carolina Zoo announces it has joined as a full member of the Conservation Center for Special Survival (known in conservation circles as C2S2), a cooperative group of large conservation facilities in North America dedicated to the preservation of wildlife. Specifically, the C2S2 focuses on species which require large habitats, natural group sizes, and minimal public disturbance.

Established in 2005, the C2S2 began as a partnership between several zoos which had large areas of non-public land that could be used to provide habitat and breed species that don’t typically breed well in traditional zoo habitats in front of the public (examples include the American red wolf and cheetahs). They also work with landowners who have large tracts of land and are interested in contributing to species conservation in strategic partnerships.

The Zoo, located in central North Carolina, has 2,600 acres of land, with 500 of the acres currently developed, making it an excellent C2S2 partner facility. Joining the organization will enable the Zoo to expand its programs, such as the American red wolf breeding program. 

“As the largest natural habitat zoo in the world, we see many opportunities to expand our conservation and species management programs through greater engagement with other C2S2 partner organizations,” said Director of Animal Management and Welfare Roger Sweeney, who is also on the Board of Directors for C2S2.

North Carolina Zoo’s Director and CEO Pat Simmons and Director of Animal Health Dr. Jb Minter*  will serve as Board Observers for C2S2.

C2S2 currently has several programs that complement the current work at the Zoo including programs for the American red wolf, addra gazelle and other African hoof stock, and a new program that focuses on North American songbirds.

You can learn more about the North Carolina Zoo by visiting

 *Dr. Jb Minter is correct spelling


About the North Carolina Zoo

At the North Carolina Zoo, we celebrate nature. As the world’s largest natural habitat Zoo, we inspire a lifelong curiosity about animals for the hundreds of thousands of people who visit our Zoo each year. Our dedicated team of experts provides exceptional, compassionate care for the more than 1,600 animals and 52,000 plants that call our Park home. We also lead efforts locally and globally to protect wildlife and wild places because we believe nature’s diversity is critical for our collective future. The North Carolina Zoo invites all of our guests to witness the majesty of the wild in the heart of North Carolina and welcomes everyone to join in our mission to protect nature’s diversity. Visit to begin your life-changing journey.

About the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the North Carolina Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call 919- 807-7300 or visit