ZooMontana Earns Meritorious AZA Accreditation
The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) has announced that the ZooMontana was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.
“Only the very best aquariums and zoos can meet AZA’s accreditation standards for animal care and welfare, conservation, education, and more, which are the most rigorous in the profession,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “By achieving AZA accreditation, ZooMontana demonstrates a commitment to protecting animals around the world and inspiring their guests to do the same.”
To be accredited, ZooMontana underwent a thorough review to make certain it has and will continue to meet ever-rising standards in categories which include animal care and welfare, 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.
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 facility’s operation, including animal care and welfare; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; visitor services; and more. Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal hearing of AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission, after which accreditation is granted, tabled, or denied. Any facility that is denied may reapply one year after the Commission’s decision is made.
“We at ZooMontana have been working hard and tirelessly over the past 8 years for this day”, said ZooMontana director Jeff Ewelt. “As mentioned in our inspection achievements, I could not be prouder of the commitment our staff and volunteers have shown to ensure this accreditation became a reality.”
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and eleven other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.