New Orleans,
15:05 PM

Audubon Zoo Earns Prestigious Honor

Audubon Zoo has been awarded a Certificate of Accreditation from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the highest distinction a Zoo can achieve. Dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation, AZA represents more than 235 facilities in the United States and overseas.

To be accredited, Audubon Zoo underwent a thorough review to make certain it has and will continue to meet ever-rising standards. 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, visitor services, risk management financial stability and more.

“By continuing to hold AZA Accreditation, Audubon Zoo meets the extremely high standards set by AZA. This is a tremendous achievement for not only our team members, but also for our community to know Audubon Zoo is considered among the gold standard for Zoos worldwide,” said Daine Appleberry, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Audubon Zoo and Park. “This is a significant accomplishment, one in which our entire team takes immense pride,” he continued.

Audubon Zoo has been an Accredited AZA member since 1981. With this latest Accreditation, Audubon Zoo will be Accredited for 48 consecutive years.

“Receiving AZA accreditation means Audubon Zoo has been thoroughly examined by the nation’s leading experts and meets the world’s most exacting standards for animal welfare, husbandry, veterinary care, safety, staffing, conservation, education, and more,” said Jennifer DiNenna, AZA Vice President of Accreditation Programs.

Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman has long been involved in AZA, and says the accreditation highlights the dedication to excellence at Audubon Zoo.

“We are proud to once again be honored by our peers at AZA with this Accreditation. Our team is committed to providing the finest care for our animals and sharing the wonders of the natural world with our guests,” said Forman.

Forman is a past President of AZA, and is stepping down from his 53-year career as President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute at the end of 2024.

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 wellbeing, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and 12 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