El Paso Zoo receives prestigious accreditation

The El Paso Zoo (KFOX14/CBS4)

The El Paso Zoo is getting recognized by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) for being committed to meeting the highest standards in zoology.

To get accredited, the zoo had to undergo a series of detailed inspections by trained zoo professionals. The squad examined the basic aspects of maintaining a zoo, such as animal health, environment cleanliness, keeper training, and visitor safety. It also went into detail to make sure the zoo’s business was running up to par, by taking a look at the zoo’s financial stability, risk management, educational programs, and more.

“The zoo’s senior team and I are so proud of our dedicated staff, partners, and volunteers that contribute daily to our professional care of these animals and our powerfully important messages of individual responsibility for wild animals and wild places,” said Steve Marshall, director of the El Paso Zoo.

To complete the process, zoo officials were interviewed at a formal hearing. After the hearing, accreditation is either granted, delayed, or denied.

“AZA accreditation signifies that the El Paso Zoo is committed to meeting the very highest standards in the zoological profession,” AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe said.

“It means that the El Paso Zoo is a proven leader in animal care and welfare and in providing educational and meaningful experiences for visitors,” he said.

The AZA requires zoos and aquariums to pass the inspection every five years in order to remain a member of the organization. The El Paso Zoo has made efforts to maintain its level of service to the community and the animals to make sure that it receives the accreditation every five years.

There are more than 2,800 animal exhibitors across the country licensed by U.S. Department of Agriculture, and less than 10 percent of them have been accredited by the AZA. The El Paso Zoo stands in elite company with the Quarter Century Award, which is given to zoos and aquariums that have been AZA-accredited for at least 25 yEl ears.

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