Rob Vernon, AZA, 301/244-3352, firstname.lastname@example.org
Saint Louis Zoo Granted Prestigious AZA Accreditation
Silver Spring, Maryland (Sept. 17, 2019) – The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) has announced that the Saint Louis Zoo was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.
“AZA accreditation signifies the Saint Louis Zoo’s active role in protecting our world’s wild animals and wild places while providing exceptional animal care and meaningful guest experiences,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “Fewer than 10% of animal exhibitors registered with USDA have achieved AZA accreditation, so the Saint Louis Zoo is truly a leader in the zoological profession.”
To be accredited, the Saint Louis Zoo underwent a thorough review to make certain it has and will continue to meet ever-rising standards in categories which include animal care and welfare, 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.
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 facility’s operation, including animal care and welfare; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; visitor services; and more. Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal hearing of AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission, after which accreditation is granted, tabled, or denied. Any facility that is denied may reapply one year after the Commission’s decision is made.
The Saint Louis Zoo has been an accredited AZA member since 1977.
The AZA inspection team’s report highlighted the Zoo’s high standards of animal care and welfare, including its exemplary elephant care program. The team also noted strong and diverse education programs, the depth and breadth of conservation programs, employee training and development programs and diversity and inclusion efforts across the institution as areas of particular achievement.
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and eleven other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.
About Saint Louis Zoo
Home to over 17,000 animals representing approximately 600 species, the Saint Louis Zoo is recognized worldwide for its innovative approaches to animal care and management, wildlife conservation, research, and education. One of the few free zoos in the nation, the Saint Louis Zoo attracts 3 million visitors a year and is the most-visited attraction in the region. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Saint Louis Zoo is part of an elite group of institutions that meet the highest standards in animal care as well as provide fun, safe and educational family experiences. The Saint Louis Zoo and the other AZA-accredited institutions collectively dedicate millions of dollars annually to support scientific research, conservation and education programs. For more information, visit stlzoo.org.
Please contact Billy Brennan or Christy Childs at the Saint Louis Zoo at (314) 646-4633 or (314) 646-4639 for additional information about the facility, including special events and activities for visitors and its ongoing commitment to wildlife conservation and science education.