Minnesota Zoo Re-Accredited by Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)
Apple Valley, MINN – September 13, 2012 –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.
The Minnesota Zoo is located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. For more information, call 952.431.9500 or visit mnzoo.org. The Minnesota Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and an institutional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).