The Akron Zoo has received a “clean” accreditation inspection report following an intensive inspection and evaluation of the zoo’s operations by inspectors from the independent Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Accreditation Commission. The AZA is the accrediting organization for the best zoos and aquariums in the United States and 12 other countries around the world.
The rigorous accreditation process includes a detailed application and on-site review by a team of trained, accomplished professionals in the field to assure the zoo is successfully meeting or exceeding all professional standards set by the Commission. The team reviews all aspects – animal care, safety for visitors and animals, veterinary care, conservation efforts, condition of all facilities, guest services, financial health and more.
This year, the Akron Zoo received a “clean” inspection report, meaning the inspection team had no concerns to note in their on-site inspection report. A clean report has only happened to two other facilities over the past half century of AZA accreditation inspections.
“Akron Zoo is rightfully proud of this extremely rare accomplishment,” said Dan Ashe, president of AZA. “Only two other facilities have achieved an unblemished inspection report in nearly 50 years and across hundreds of accreditation inspections, reflecting the stringency and comprehensive nature of the AZA standards and the rigorous process of inspection. It is important to note that AZA accreditation can only be conferred by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission, which will hear Akron Zoo’s case in October.”
AZA requires zoos and aquariums to complete the full accreditation process every five years in order to be considered for accreditation. The Akron Zoo has been accredited by AZA consistently since 1989.
“I am incredibly proud of the hard work of the Akron Zoo staff, board and volunteers at all levels without whom such an incredible feat would have been impossible, especially considering all of the challenges of the past 16 months,” said Doug Piekarz, president and CEO at the Akron Zoo. “The report from AZA illustrates the dedication of our team and the amazing community we serve. Together we are building a world-class zoo, focused on connecting our community to wildlife while inspiring lifelong learning and conservation action.”
After the comprehensive inspection, a formal hearing of AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission interviews top officials at each facility seeking accreditation and either grants, tables, or denies accreditation. Only the independent AZA Accreditation Commission can grant accreditation to an applicant facility. Akron Zoo will appear before the AZA Accreditation Commission in October 2021.
Currently, 240 zoos and aquariums throughout the United States and 12 other countries meet the standards required to be accredited by the AZA.
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 12 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.