“AZA accreditation signifies that the Minnesota Zoo is committed to meeting the very highest standards in the zoological profession,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “It means that the Minnesota Zoo is a proven leader in animal care and welfare and in providing educational and meaningful experiences for visitors.”
To be accredited, the Minnesota Zoo 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 institution’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 institution that is denied may reapply one year after the Commission’s decision is made.
The Minnesota Zoo has been an accredited AZA member since 1990.
“We are proud to be a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums community,” says John Frawley, Minnesota Zoo director and president. “We are always striving to maintain and improve our world-class facility in order to continue to connect people, animals and the natural world to save wildlife.”
The AZA inspection team mentioned a long list of strengths at the Minnesota Zoo. A sample of this list includes a dedicated and enthusiastic animal care team, a very active and experienced conservation department that is working to save wildlife locally and globally, and a forward-thinking master plan that focused on nature and creating amazing outdoor experiences for Zoo guests.
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 eight 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.
About the Minnesota Zoo
The Minnesota Zoo is a year-round destination located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. The Zoo’s mission is to connect people, animals and the natural world to save wildlife. For more information, call 952.431.9500 or visit mnzoo.org. The Minnesota Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and an institutional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).