We invite you to watch the video and review the guide before your visit to know what to expect and get tips on how to plan around sensory sensitivities.
Accessibility and Inclusion
Fresno Chaffee Zoo Diversity Statement
At Fresno Chaffee Zoo, we are striving to be leaders in diversity and inclusion through our community connections and conservation efforts. Our goal, through our words and actions, is to create a safe space where all are welcome and our differences are celebrated.
We are a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and support the AZA Strategic plan, including its new 5th promise, which states
We will advance diversity, equity, access and inclusion practices in the profession and integrate these as values into our organizational cultures.
With PAL, #EveryoneGetsToGo
In partnership with Pal Experiences, a Phoenix-based non-profit, the Zoo has created free tools to help those with autism and other developmental disabilities enjoy their next visit.
The Fresno Chaffee Zoo is the first zoo location in the United States to become a Pal Experiences “Pal Place,” which includes the creation of a video social story showing guests what they can expect during a visit and an interactive digital guide to assist with communication and navigation around the zoo.
Sponsored by Valley Children's Healthcare
We have worked closely with Valley Children’s Healthcare to develop tools to make the Zoo accessible and inclusive for all visitors.
Adapted from the successful program at Valley Children’s Healthcare, visitors can choose to wear a George’s Pass sticker during their time at the Zoo. This enables Zoo staff to help ensure these special guests are able to have a positive and successful visit.
The Zoo will provide mask requirement accommodations for guests who provide documentation from a licensed healthcare provider of a medical reason preventing them from wearing a mask. Please present documentation to the staff when you arrive at the Zoo’s entrance. The Zoo will offer a George’s Pass sticker as one option to guests who have an exemption. The sticker is not required to be worn, but is one will help staff identify that someone in the group has a medical exemption from wearing a mask. Masks are required for all guests at Valley Farm and Twiga Terrace. In these two areas, we are unable to provide medical exemptions. Stingray Bay may accommodate guests without masks due to medical exemptions depending on the number of guests inside the exhibit and whether guests can enter and exit while social distancing safely. An additional accommodation the Zoo is offering for those who have a medical reason preventing them from wearing a mask is a face shield and drape.
George’s Pass backpacks and sensory tools are currently “on paws” to limit touchpoints.
Guests with sensory needs can also check out special backpacks (at no cost by leaving an ID) with sensory tools, a Zoo map showing Headphone Zones and Quiet Zones, and noise-cancelling headphones.
Both George’s Pass and sensory backpacks are available to check-out at the front entrance.
Quiet Zones and Headphone Zones
Headphone Zones and Quiet Zones throughout the Zoo
The Zoo offers a sensory map and signage to identify Headphone Zones and Quiet Zones to further help families and individuals have an enjoyable experience on even the busiest days.
During a visit to the Zoo, there are some areas that, on our busiest days, can be crowded and loud. It may be best to plan to visit these areas when the Zoo is less crowded or use noise-canceling headphones in these areas.
We also have noted Quiet Zones. These are less-crowded areas around the Zoo that can be ideal to take a break, let off some energy, or plan the rest of your visit.
Getting Around the Zoo
Strollers, wheelchairs, and electric scooters are available to rent from the Safari Trading Co. gift shop on a first-come, first-serve basis at the following rates:
- Single Stroller Rental – $8.00
- Double Stroller Rental – $10.00
- Wheelchair Rental – $10.00
- Electric Scooter Rental – $25.00
Restrooms & Nursing Area
We want every Zoo guest to have a safe, accessible place to go.
Family/Single-Use/All-Gender Restrooms – enlarge map
- Front Entrance
- Kopje Lodge
- Twiga Trail
- Tembo Trail
Restroom with Companion Care, Adult Changing Table – enlarge map
Donated by Hannah’s Helpers
- Front Entrance
Nursing Nook, Private Nursing Area – enlarge map
While mothers may nurse wherever they feel most comfortable, we have created a nursing area for those who prefer more privacy. The Nursing Nook is located between Dino Dig & Wilderness Falls restrooms.
If you require any additional accommodations, please don’t hesitate to ask our team during your visit.