AZA Grants Accreditation to Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) today announced that the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.

“Only zoos and aquariums that meet the highest standards are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “By achieving AZA-accreditation, Como Park Zoo & Conservatory demonstrates that it is dedicated to protecting species and educating its visitors about the natural world.”

To be accredited, the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory 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.

“I hear from people so often that Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is one of their favorite family destinations,” said Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. “We should all be so proud of this incredible asset which brings in people from all over the city, state and region. I’m not at all surprised by today’s announcement, but am so proud of the hard work and dedication of our zoo staff and the abiding support from the community – which makes this accreditation possible.”

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.