About Us

Chehaw is driven by its mission of inspiring people to connect with nature and encouraging conservation action through positive recreational and educational experiences. The Park, founded close to eight decades ago, has expanded to an 800 acre campus and includes a Zoo that houses hundreds of animals in naturalistic exhibits and annually hosts over 100,000 visitors. From the Zoo to the endless recreational opportunities, Chehaw has an activity for every visitor. Come see what nature’s playground has to offer you!

Chehaws New Home

In 1974, the city of Albany leased 100 unused acres of Chehaw from the state of Georgia with the intent to develop a wild animal park where exotic and indigenous animals would be displayed in their natural habitats. With the inception of the wild animal habitat, the State donated the entire Chehaw acreage to the city to further development. The City of Albany with Chehaw commissioned Jim Fowler, a native of Albany and host of the popular television show Wild Kingdom, to design and supervise the construction of the wildlife area.

The original animals were moved from the Tift Park Zoo in Albany to their new home at Chehaw between 1975 and 1977. Chehaw Wild Animal Park was officially dedicated and opened to the public in October of 1977. Accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) was achieved in 1997. The Wild Animal Park became The Zoo at Chehaw in 2016.

Corporate Partners

Being a non-profit organization, Chehaw depends on partnerships with other local organizations and businesses. These partnerships allow Chehaw to serve this area with an excellent park system and turn big visions into a local reality.

The following businesses have partnered with Chehaw:


2017 Corporate Members

  • Flint Community Bank
  • Brad Lanier Oil Company
  • Doherty, Duggan, Hart, & Tiernan
  • Watson Spence LLP

2016 Sponsors

iPad Donation

  • AT&T Pioneers

Play Park Fundraiser

  • The Brittany Kerfoot Memorial Playground Project

Festival of Lights

  • Bishop Clean Care 
  • Pritchett Pippin Dance Studio
  • Hinman Pools
  • NEOS Technologies
  • WALB
  • Albany Herald
  • Cumulus Radio

Native American Cultural Festival Corporate Partners

  • Colony Bank
  • Potter Motor Company
  • Walden & Kirkland
  • Rental Depot
  • Homerun Foods

Motel Sponsors

  • Merry Acres
  • Wingate Inn
  • Best Western Inn
  • Country Inn and Suites
  • Red Roof Inn
  • America’s Best Value Inn

Picnic Tables made from Recycled Material

  • Darsey Family Foundation