The North Carolina Zoo is pleased to announce it has once again received the honor of accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Every five years, the Zoo is required to go through the entire application process to retain its accreditation. The AZA awarded accreditation to the Zoo following a rigorous inspection visit earlier in the year.
Fewer than 10% of all zoos and aquariums worldwide meet the standards to earn accreditation from the AZA.
“The AZA has continuously accredited the North Carolina Zoo for more than 37 years, demonstrating the Zoo’s ongoing commitment to animal welfare and veterinary care, conservation, education, and guest experience,” said Deputy Secretary Jeff Michael of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “We’re proud our state’s zoo is recognized as a leader in animal care and conservation.
“The North Carolina Zoo is a wonderful place to explore nature and with the AZA Accreditation, guests can be assured they are supporting a world-class operation that puts animal care and conservation as its highest priorities,” said Zoo Director and CEO Pat Simmons. “Congratulations to the entire staff for their dedication and excellent work and I’m so proud to be part of this remarkable team.”
The accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous, on-site, multiple-day inspection by an independent team of trained zoological professionals. The inspecting team observes all aspects of the facility’s operation, including animal welfare and well-being; veterinary care; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff, and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; financial stability; risk management; governance; and guest services.
“The process to receive AZA accreditation is rigorous and continues to include ever-increasing standards to ensure that the animals’ best interests are always first and foremost,” said AZA President and CEO, Dan Ashe.
There are currently 242 AZA-accredited facilities and 14 AZA-certified related facility members throughout the U.S. and in 12 other countries. For a complete list of currently accredited AZA facilities, please visit https://www.aza.org/current-