Aquarium Granted Accreditation by Association of Zoos and Aquariums
April 26, 2017
The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) announced in April that the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.
“The Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredits only those zoos and aquariums that meet the highest standards,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “By achieving AZA-accreditation, North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher demonstrates that it is dedicated to exceptional animal care, protecting species and educating visitors about the natural world.”
To be accredited, the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher 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.
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 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 seven 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. Through AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction, AZA-accredited facilities are collectively working to use their conservation science, wildlife expertise and the 183 million visitors to save species in the wild by identifying threats, developing action plans, raising new resources and engaging the public. To learn more, visit http://www.aza.org.