September 19, 2012

News Release

For Immediate Release

AZA Grants Accreditation to the Dickerson Park Zoo

The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) today announced that Dickerson Park Zoo 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. “The community should take great pride in knowing that Dickerson Park Zoo is ranked among the best zoos and aquariums in the world.”

To be accredited, Dickerson Park Zoo underwent a thorough review to ensure it has and will continue to meet ever-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.

“Dickerson Park Zoo is a leader in the care and conservation of wildlife, and in educating people about the natural world,” Maddy added.

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 (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.

Please contact Melinda Arnold, Public Relations/Marketing Director, at Dickerson Park Zoo, at 417-833-1570 or 417-848-0162 for additional information about the facility, including special events and activities for guests and its ongoing commitment to wildlife conservation and science education.