The Roger Williams Park Zoo announced today that it has earned reaccreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The Zoo was the first in New England to earn accreditation in 1986 and has been reaccredited continuously for 37 years.
AZA accreditation is a rigorous and comprehensive process that evaluates all aspects of a zoo or aquarium’s operation, including animal welfare, veterinary care, keeper training, safety, education, conservation, finance, risk management, governance, and guest services. The process begins with a detailed application, followed by a multi-day on-site inspection by an independent team of zoological professionals. The inspection team thoroughly assesses the facility’s operations and prepares a detailed report. The Commission then reviews the report and interviews top officials from the facility at a formal hearing. Based on this evaluation, the Commission decides whether to grant full accreditation, provisional accreditation for one year, or deny accreditation.
“Every year, AZA sends over 200 accreditation inspectors around the world to review 60 to 70 applications for AZA accreditation. We also have nearly 40 facilities participating in our Pathway Toward Membership program, which is indicative of the growing importance of independent accreditation,” said Dan Ashe, president and CEO of AZA. “AZA’s standards are continuously revised to reflect cutting-edge zoological practices based on the latest animal wellbeing science and research. Clearly, the best-of-the-best zoos and aquariums want to be part of our association.”
“We are proud that our Zoo is helping to safeguard animals regionally and worldwide through wildlife conservation programs,” said Stacey Johnson, executive director. “Additionally, AZA accreditation assures that we meet the highest standards in animal welfare and public education. This accreditation is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff and volunteers who believe in our mission to conserve wildlife and wild places.”
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