(HOUSTON) April 23, 2013 … The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) today announced that the Houston Zoo 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 Jim Maddy. As a proven leader in in the care and conservation of wildlife and education outreach, the Houston Zoo is ranked among the best zoos and aquariums in the world.”
“The Houston Zoo has been accredited by the AZA since 1989,” said Houston Zoo President and CEO Deborah Cannon. “AZA accreditation acknowledges the dedication and hard work of every Houston Zoo employee to provide not only excellent care for our animals but a superior guest experience for everyone who visits the Houston Zoo,” Cannon added.
In granting accreditation, the AZA acknowledged the Houston Zoo’s elephant program and staff funded conservation program as model programs; recognized the Zoo’s guest service training program as demonstrating excellence in staff/guest interactions; recorded Zoo staff morale as very positive in departments throughout the Zoo; and identified the Zoo’s digital format graphics in the Kipp Aquarium and the Reptile House as effective and impressive.
In addition, the AZA noted that new and renovated animal exhibits including The African Forest, jaguar, cougar, flamingo and hoofed stock habitats have enhanced the guest experience and animal welfare and recognized the Education Department’s distance learning program for its broad reach in the community.
About AZA Accreditation
To be accredited, the Houston Zoo 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.
About the Houston Zoo : Founded in 1922, the Houston Zoo is an exciting live animal adventure that provides a unique educational and conservation resource serving more than 1.8 million guests annually. Set in a 55-acre lush tropical landscape, the Zoo is home to more than 6,000 exotic animals representing more than 800 species. Visitors can experience the wonders of Africa at The African Forest, the new 6.5 acre, $40 million addition featuring chimps, rhinos, and giraffes. Travel to Africa. No Passport Required.
Children Under 2 – FREE
Children 2-11 – $10
Adults 12-64 – $14
Senior 65+ – $7.50
Visit the courtesy booth at your neighborhood Fiesta Mart and purchase an adult Zoo admission for $12 and a child Zoo admission for $9. Zoo memberships start at only $65.
For information on all the great benefits of becoming a Zoo member
9 a.m. until 7 p.m. during Central Daylight Time (last admission at 6 p.m.).
Operated by the not-for-profit Houston Zoo, Inc., the Houston Zoo is dedicated to the conservation of endangered species, the provision of engaging educational opportunities and the creation of stimulating exhibits that broaden the experiences of our guests and encourage their curiosity.
The Houston Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Look for the AZA 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. With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information visit www.aza.org.