The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) announced that the Como Zoo was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission. The President and CEO of AZA, Jim Maddy, will make a special presentation on December 15th at 3:30pm to Mayor Chris Coleman & the City Council in the City Council Chambers to recognize the honor.
“The Como Zoo is one of the best in the world because it has met the highest standards in the world,” said Maddy. “It takes hard work and dedication to meet Association of Zoos and Aquariums Accreditation Standards.”
To be accredited, the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory underwent a thorough investigation to ensure it has and will continue to meet ever-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.
“Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is the jewel of our City Park’s system, providing residents with a great place to spend the day. There is nothing like seeing the wonder in a child’s eyes as they enter the park, where they are often coming face to face with a polar bear or gorilla for the first time. This accreditation affirms how incredible this Saint Paul Landmark is,” Mayor Chris Coleman said.
“The Como Zoo is a great place for people to connect with the natural world and each other,” Maddy added. “As centers of conservation and education, members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums support their schools and communities with inspirational science-based wildlife programs.”
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 in areas such as 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. The inspection team prepares an extensive written report for the Accreditation Commission. Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal Commission hearing, after which accreditation is granted, tabled, or denied. Any institution that is denied may reapply one year after the Commission’s decision is made. Less than 10% of the 2,600 USDA-licensed wildlife exhibitors are independently accredited by AZA and Minnesota is home to two; Como Zoo & The Minnesota Zoo.
Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting an institution dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information, please visit www.aza.org.