Potter Park Zoo earns gold-standard zoological accreditation

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 10:23 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Potter Park Zoo has earned a gold-standard zoological accreditation.

Potter Park Zoo was among 22 aquariums and zoos that earned the prestigious accreditation, widely called the “gold standard,” by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) independent Accreditation Commission.

AZA accreditation includes a detailed application and a meticulous, on-site, multiple-day inspection by an independent team of zoological professionals. The inspecting team analyzes all aspects of the following in the facility:

  • Operation, including animal welfare and wellbeing
  • veterinary care
  • Keeper training; safety for visitors, staff, and animals
  • Educational programs
  • Conservation efforts
  • Financial stability
  • Risk management
  • Governance
  • Guest services

Detailed reports from the inspection team and the facility alike are then thoroughly evaluated by the Commission.

“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.”

There are currently 237 AZA-accredited facilities and 15 AZA-accredited related facility members throughout the U.S. and 12 other countries. For a complete list of accredited AZA facilities, visit AZA’s website.

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