Zoo Receives AZA Accreditation
September 11, 2012
PHOENIX, AZ (September 11, 2012) -- The Little Rock Zoo is proud to
announce that it received accreditation today from the Association of Zoos
and Aquariums (AZA).
The accreditation hearing
for the Zoo was held in Phoenix
at the annual meeting of AZA.
The Zoo was tabled at
last year's hearing over concerns for the Zoo's long-term financial
stability. A passage of a one cent sales tax for the City of Little Rock last
September gave the Zoo $1.6 million for operations and $8 million over 10 years
for capital improvements. The accreditation committee was pleased with
the progress the Zoo had made in hiring new staff, particularly in the Zoo's
education department, and felt confident that the Zoo had a stable long-term plan
for financial security.
Accreditation is granted
every five years by AZA. The Zoo was accredited in 2001, 2006, and tabled
for accreditation in 2011. The tabling of the Zoo's accreditation meant
the Zoo still maintained accreditation but would be required to appear before
the committee again the following year to report progress on major
concerns of the committee.
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.
About the 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.