About Us

The Emporia Friends of the Zoo (EFOZ) was founded during 1978. The Society’s stated purpose has been to provide financial support for the expansion, development and maintenance of the Zoo. By nature, Zoo operations and projects are expensive. Therefore, we solicit contributions, memberships and support to help us accomplish our goals of providing birds, animals and Zoo facilities in which Emporia and the surrounding communities can take great pride. We are proud of our accomplishments; however, much remains to be done. We invite you or your organization to become members of the Emporia Friends of the Zoo. All memberships as well as donations are tax deductible and provide help necessary to achieve goals for various Zoo projects.

Our Mission

To provide financial support for the expansion, development and maintenance of the Zoo and to support the Zoo’s mission of conservation and education.

Meet the David Traylor Zoo Staff

Lisa Keith

Zoo Director/EFOZ Liaison

Lori Heavener

Office Manager/EFOZ Member

Kelli Proehl

Education Coordinator/EFOZ Member

Kristi Smith

Administrative Assistant/EFOZ Member


The David Traylor Zoo in Emporia, KS, is definitely a hidden gem! Tucked on the outskirts of town, sits a totally free zoo featuring some very finely landscaped grounds and a unique layout.

Sam L.

I Googled “what is there to do in Emporia,” and this zoo was the first option! It was great! It was small and very beautiful. Admission is free! It’s a great place to take kids because there is a great amount to see, but it doesn’t take that long

Sidney S.

No doubt that this is probably one of the best free zoos out there! It has lemurs, a mountain lion and other cool animals. It’s a great way to spend an hour with friends or family!

Parker L.