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Keepers holding a giraffe hoof trim

We’re so thrilled to share that our Zoo was recently granted accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) independent Accreditation Commission! Of the 31 applications for accreditation reviewed by the Commission during AZA’s Mid-Year Meeting held in Memphis, Tenn., 28 were granted accreditation.

“Congratulations to the staff at Brevard Zoo for achieving the world’s ‘gold standard’ for the zoological and aquarium profession,” said Dan Ashe, AZA’s president and chief executive officer. “AZA’s standards continually evolve to reflect best practices in animal care and wellbeing, veterinary care, conservation, scientific advancement, and safety and security, among other things. With this assurance, the public can trust that the animals at (facility name) receive the highest level of care and wellbeing, and there is a deep commitment to their conservation in the wild.”

AZA accreditation includes a detailed application and a meticulous multiple day on-site inspection by an independent team of zoological professionals. The inspecting team analyzes all aspects of the facility’s operation, including animal welfare and wellbeing; veterinary care; staff training; safety for visitors, staff, and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; financial stability; risk management; governance; and guest services. Detailed reports from the inspection team and the facility alike are then thoroughly evaluated by the Commission. Finally, the Commission interviews top officials from the facility at a formal hearing, after which accreditation is fully granted, provisionally granted for one year, or denied.

A thorough review ensures that each facility has met and will continue to meet ever-rising standards. As a condition of association membership, AZA facilities must complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years.

“AZA accreditation sets our Zoo apart as a leader among zoos and aquariums,” said Keith Winsten, Brevard Zoo CEO. “We’re proud to be among a select group of zoos and aquariums that maintains such a high standard. Our community can enjoy our Zoo knowing we’re providing the greatest possible care for our animal residents.”

There are 236 AZA-accredited institutions and 15 AZA-accredited related facility members throughout the U.S. and 12 other countries. For a complete list of accredited AZA facilities, please visit https://www.aza.org/current-accreditation-list.

Interested in learning more about the AZA accreditation process? Check out this blog.

Brevard Zoo is an independent, not-for-profit organization that receives no recurring government funding for our operating costs. Your generous support enables us to continue to serve our community and continue our vital animal wellness, education and conservation programs.