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Dallas Zoo receives 25-year milestone award for accreditation
Jan 11, 2016

Association of Zoos and Aquariums recognizes zoo for continuous accreditation

 The Dallas Zoo has been honored as one of 119 U.S. zoos to achieve continuous accreditation for more than 25 years by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The AZA is the primary accrediting body for top zoos and aquariums in the U.S. since 1974, and a leader in saving species all over the world.

Established in 2015, the Quarter Century Award highlights zoos and aquariums’ commitment to animal care, welfare, conservation, education and more. The Dallas Zoo is part of the inaugural group to have successfully achieved this milestone.

“This award is one more distinction that puts us in the ranks as one of the nation’s top zoos,” said Gregg Hudson, Dallas Zoo president and CEO. “Since first receiving accreditation in 1985, we’ve set our sights on exceeding every requirement introduced by AZA. And we’ll continue to top their rising standards in animal care, conservation, veterinary programs, safety and education.”

“AZA is dedicated to ensuring that the highest standards in the zoological profession are met, and this means that the accreditation process is therefore quite rigorous,” said Jim Maddy, AZA president and CEO. “The fact that these aquariums and zoos have maintained continuous AZA accreditation for 25 years or more is an extraordinary achievement that deserves to be celebrated,” said Maddy.

AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete its rigorous accreditation process every five years to be members of the Association. The 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.


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