The acronym AZA has been mentioned on the blog several times. Sherry goes to the AZA conference every year and usually reports back on things she has learned. It also comes up when we talk about our Red Wolves. This post, however, is to share some very exciting news! The museum has applied to be AZA accredited which is a pretty big deal. AZA’s mission is:
The Association of Zoos & Aquariums provides its members with the services, high standards, best practices and program coordination to be leaders in animal welfare, public engagement, and the conservation of species.
In short, to be accredited means we are providing the best care for our animals and the best experience for our guests! The accreditation process has several parts, one of which is a comprehensive inspection of our facility. Even though it has to do with animals, accreditation is for the whole museum not just the animal department. Last month was our big inspection after months and months of hard work and preparation. Four inspectors from different institutions were our inspection team.
They talked to many staff members in many different departments and opened every cabinet and every drawer. We are happy to say that our inspection went very well. We still have more steps to take but we’ll find out in March at the mid-year AZA conference if we are accredited or not. I’m pretty sure my note clenched the deal though: