Salisbury earns lofty American Zoo Association merit

The Association of Zoos & Aquariums has announced that the Salisbury Zoo was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.

“The Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredits only those zoos and aquariums that meet the highest standards,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy.

“As a proven leader in the care and conservation of wildlife and education outreach, The Salisbury Zoo is ranked among the best zoos and aquariums in the world,” he said.

To be accredited, the Salisbury Zoo underwent a thorough review to ensure it has and will continue to meet 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.

“The entire Salisbury Zoo community should be recognized for their continued efforts in keeping this prestigious accreditation. I thank them for all their hard work on behalf of our citizens and the over 300,000 visitors that come to the Salisbury Zoo each year,” said Mayor Jim Ireton.

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.

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 six other countries.

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