International Conservation Center (ICC)

Located on nearly 1,000 acres of rolling hills, this extension of the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium provides the perfect landscape to focus on conservation science, wildlife management and recovery, and education. The animals that live here contribute to the preservation of their wild counterparts and help tell the story of hope and survival into the future.

The need for conservation is greater than ever and change starts with us. We hope your visit inspires you to take action to help these amazing animals!

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ICC PROGRAMS and events

These programs are held at the International Conservation Center in Somerset County or virtually. These programs are not on Zoo grounds.



Wagon rides are back! This unique experience takes you through our International Conservation Center where you will see elephants roaming in the distance.

Family Summer Camp Out

Friday-Saturday, August 9-10

Celebrate the summer with a campout at the International Conservation Center. Join our expert educators for an evening nature hike, stargazing, a bonfire with s’mores, and a morning guided wagon ride to view the elephants at the ICC.


The International Conservation Center offers exciting opportunities for teachers and students to learn about elephants, biodiversity, habitats, adaptations, conservation, and more. With programs available for Pre-K through 12th grade, we have programs for every student.


Through the use of technology, the Elephants Animal Tracks curriculum will provide a platform for students, without regards to their geographic location, to learn about elephants at the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium’s International Conservation Center.

Wild Encounters

Get an up-close experience with our resident elephants at the International Conservation Center!

Mission and Philosophy

The Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium and the ICC share a mission: to connect people to wildlife and inspire our communities to conserve nature for future generations.

Over half of our footprint is left untouched to allow native wildlife, grasses, and wildflowers to thrive, while a portion is used to produce hay to feed our animals here and at the Zoo. Our education programs provide an unforgettable experience for all ages: watching our animal ambassadors roam and live as they would in their native habitat, while learning how to protect wildlife.

Our Animals

The African elephant is listed as “Endangered” with a declining population. The ICC’s breeding herd plays an essential role in the preservation of the species. Our contributions to breeding have had a major positive impact on the North American population–our male, Jackson, is tied to nearly 50% of the births over the past decade.

Partners in Conservation

Our long-standing partnership with the International Elephant Foundation (IEF), allows for an effective process to receive and fund elephant-focused projects which directly impact elephants in the wild, as well as in human care.

We have also partnered with Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust in Zimbabwe to help protect a variety of species. We have helped collar African elephants for research tracking, developed programs to protect vultures and to reduce the spread of deadly disease through training and education.

We work with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Saving Animals from Extinction (SAFE) programs both at the Zoo and the ICC.