The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) today announced that Lehigh Valley Zoo was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.
“The Association of Zoos and Aquariums only accredits zoos and aquariums that meet the highest standards in animal care and welfare,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “When people visit Lehigh Valley Zoo, they can be assured that they are supporting a facility that is a leader in the care and conservation of wildlife.”
To be accredited, Lehigh Valley 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 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 seven 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.
As a non-profit organization, Lehigh Valley Zoo is eleven years young, but as a treasured community landmark, our history spans over a century. Lehigh Valley Zoo, located in the heart of the Trexler Nature Preserve, is home to more than 325 animal ambassadors representing over 125 species. The Zoo’s animal collection includes 22 species collectively managed through Species Survival Plan Program™ (SSP), administered by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). As a means to share important conservation messaging with Zoo guests and contribute to field conservation, the Zoo contributes to, participates in, and initiates wildlife conservation programs at home and in the field. The Zoo’s full-circle conservation projects spotlight: Spotted Turtle (local), Eastern Spadefoot Toad (local), Mexican Gray Wolf (national), African Penguin (international), Scimitar-horned Oryx (international), Prehensile-tailed Porcupine (international), and Aoudad (international).
Source: AZA Press Release