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AZA Grants CT's Beardsley Zoo Accreditation

Silver Spring, Maryland – The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) has announced that Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.

“Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is among the outstanding aquariums and zoos that have met or exceeded our rigorous accreditation standards,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “The hundreds of millions of annual guests to AZA-accredited facilities like Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo can be assured their visit is supporting a facility that provides the highest-quality animal care and welfare and is contributing to initiatives that save animals from extinction.”

To be accredited, Connecticut’s Beardsley 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 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.

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has been an accredited AZA member since 1987.

“For more than three decades, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has been recognized as a member of the AZA, an organization that ensures the highest level of professionalism in animal care and welfare, health, safety and guest services from its members,” said Zoo Director Gregg Dancho.

“Accreditation every five years is not automatic, but instead, is a rigorous re- evaluation of our ability to meet AZA standards,” he continued. “I’m proud to be associated with AZA facilities across the country, helping to sustain endangered species, and educate children and adults in our communities about our critical connection with nature.”

About AZA

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.

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo  

Let your curiosity run wild! Connecticut's only zoo, celebrating its 97th year, features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American and Northern Asian species. Guests won't want to miss our Amur tigers and Amur leopards, Mexican and Red wolves, and Golden Lion tamarin. Highlights include our Spider Monkey Habitat, the Natt Family Red Panda Habitat, the prairie dog exhibit with "pop-up" viewing areas, plus the Pampas Plains featuring maned wolves, Chacoan peccaries and Giant anteaters. Guests can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on our colorful indoor carousel. For more information, visit beardsleyzoo.org.

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