Welcome to AARIC – the Ambassador Animal Resource and Information Center!

The goal of AARIC is to give program animal managers and caretakers a space where they can more efficiently research species they are interested in adding to their collection of ambassadors, as well as sharing the combined knowledge of experienced ambassador animal professionals to identify and encourage best practices in program animal management.

The AARIC Administrators  are Jacque Williamson or Maureen O’Keefe.

Previously, the Ambassador Animal Scientific Advisory Group (AASAG) managed the PARIS page- PARIS was the Program Animal Rating and Information System and consisted of two parts; a simple rating system developed by the  AASAG that was intended to be a tool to rate species in their collection for their suitability in educational programming and share this rating and species rankings with other managers. The second part of PARIS was species information pages, which were fact sheets about the suitability, care, and messaging about species used as ambassadors.

To download the rating system for your own planning purposes or so that your opinions can be counted, visit the Planning Tools page .

Ambassador Animal Resource Center

AARIC has replaced PARIS, but the species information pages are still here!

These pages provide detailed information about species used as ambassadors and allows managers, educators, and ambassador caretakers to pool their experiences and knowledge in order to teach each other about each species.

  • The information found in these pages allows managers researching a new species better plan their ambassador collections for their organization and find appropriate matches for their programming and staffing needs.
  • It also functions as a resource for those already caring for these species a chance to see how other institutions are caring for that same species and improve their husbandry or presenting techniques.

Editors for AARIC come from organizations across the AZA, large and small. Every editor is a professional working directly with ambassador animals – educators, keepers, and managers.

If you would like to become involved as a content editor, we’d love to have you aboard – email one of the AARIC Administrators: Jacque Williamson or Maureen O’Keefe

Note: the ideas shared on this wiki come from individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) or the AZA-accredited facilities employing those individuals. Recommendations on this site about specific program animals may be a compilation of best practices from multiple organizations. Any injuries or illnesses incurred under these suggested guidelines are not the responsibility of the contributors to the Wiki site, the organizations they represent, or AZA. For more information about AZA’s policies regarding program animals, visit https://www.aza.org/education-standards-and-policies/.