Painting of a wolf among tall brown grass and tree branches

Red River Zoo Policy & Guidelines for Research

The Red River Zoo welcomes researchers who are interested in conducting appropriate scientific studies to advance captive reproduction, better standards in animal care, and conservation of wildlife and ecosystems. Zoo staff and outside researchers may use facilities and the animal collection in such endeavors subject to proper procedure as outlined below. All projects must be reviewed and approved by the Executive Director and General Curator. Depending on the research, approval of the Attending Veterinarian may also be required at the Zoo’s discretion.

Current acceptable research includes:

  1. Properly designed field studies that result in better knowledge of a species behaviors, habits, range, or health status in the wild. These studies could also result in better captive care or reproduction.
  2. Studies that focus on behavior observations including, exhibit use, dietary consumption, enrichment preferences, etc.
  3. Reproductive research projects to advance captive breeding efforts for endangered and threatened species, such as artificial insemination.
  4. Projects designed to address or eliminate problems in animal diets, general husbandry, or common disease states.

Possible Investigators

  1. Zoo Employees- Research activities should not conflict with the employee’s daily work routine. The Red River Zoo should be given full acknowledgement.
  2. Non-employee
  • Students and faculty associated with an accredited institution
  • Professional scientists
  • Independent investigators


Research Request Procedure

  1. All investigators must fill out a research request application (below)
  2. Submit a research proposal including the following:
  • Name, address and phone number of principle and associate investigator
  • Institutional affiliation with address
  • Title of project
  • Description of proposed project, including goals, objectives, and evaluation criteria
  • Schedule including estimated starting and completion dates and time of day research will be conducted
  • Assistance required by zoo staff and estimated time required
  • Project funding sources if applicable
  • Any other information that will allow the reviewers to effectively evaluate the project


Review of Research proposals and Procedures

  1. Student projects cannot include procedures or techniques that involve disturbing or manipulating the animals or visitors.
  2. All research proposals will be reviewed by the Executive Director and General Curator. Depending on the research, approval of the Attending Veterinarian may also be required.
  3. Once research has commenced, it will be subject to periodic reviews by the Executive Director, Veterinarian or Curator. If warranted, the Zoo may discontinue the research at any time.
  4. Students interested in publishing their project results must go through the Zoo’s formal approval process.
  5. The investigator must submit written results within a specified time period after project completion. Any published documentation must acknowledge the Red River Zoo.