Editor’s Note: This is a press release from the Minnesota Zoo.
The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) today announced that the Minnesota Zoo was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent accreditation commission.
To be accredited, the Minnesota Zoo underwent a thorough review to ensure it has and will continue to meet ever-rising standards, which include animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years in order to be members of the Association.
"Accreditation by the AZA is a very important signifier of the Minnesota Zoo's commitment to excellence in animal care, guest experience, environmental education and wildlife conservation,” says Minnesota Zoo Director/CEO Lee Ehmke. “I am extremely proud of the Zoo's talented and dedicated staff who work tirelessly to maintain and exceed the high quality of operation and strategic vision represented by this recognition by AZA."
Adds AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy: “Only zoos and aquariums that meet the highest standards are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The community should take great pride in knowing that the Minnesota Zoo is ranked among the best zoos and aquariums in the world. The Minnesota Zoo is a leader in the care and conservation of wildlife, and in educating people about the natural world.”
The accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspecting team observes all aspects of the institution’s operation, including animal care; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; visitor services; and other areas. Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal hearing of AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission, after which accreditation is granted, tabled, or denied. Any institution that is denied may reapply one year after the Commission’s decision is made.
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting an institution dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information, please visit www.aza.org.