It takes hard work and dedication to meet Association of Zoos and Aquariums Accreditation Standards.
Silver Spring, MD (Vocus) October 1, 2010
The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) announced during the organization’s annual meeting in September that the Indianapolis Zoo was granted renewed accreditation by the AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.
“The Indianapolis Zoo is one of the best in the world because it has met the highest standards in the world,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “It takes hard work and dedication to meet Association of Zoos and Aquariums Accreditation Standards.”
To be accredited, the Indianapolis Zoo underwent a thorough investigation 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.
Indianapolis President and CEO Michael Crowther said, “The Commissioners were vocal in their praise of our Zoo, our Board, our professional team, and our response to the inspection team's report. Accreditation is a complex and demanding process, with fewer than 10% of federally-licensed animal exhibition facilities achieving its requirements. Credit for our success is thanks to the outstanding staff who works every day to maintain our standard as one of the best zoos in the country.”
“The Indianapolis Zoo is a great place for people to connect with the natural world and each other,” Maddy added. “As centers of conservation and education, members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums support their schools and communities with inspirational science-based wildlife programs.”
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 in areas such as 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. The inspection team prepares an extensive written report for the Accreditation Commission. Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal Commission hearing, 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 http://www.aza.org.
Please contact Maura Giles at the Indianapolis Zoo at (317) 630-3265 or mgiles (at) indyzoo (dot) com for additional information about the institution, including special events and activities for visitors and its ongoing commitment to wildlife conservation and science education.