The Association of Zoos and Aquariums voted to table a decision on Abilene's accreditation instead of granting it. However, the zoo remains accredited during this "reinspection process." The accreditation means a zoo meets the highest standards for animal welfare and care. According to the group's website, AZA is America's leading accrediting organization for zoos and aquariums and accredits only those institutions that have achieved rigorous standards for animal care, education, wildlife conservation and science.
During a January inspection, the group had concerns over a diversified approach to maintenance that will allow staff to devote more time to animal exhibitry, environmental enrichment and research. They also suggested the zoo expand veterinary and quarantine facilities on site.
"By tabling the accreditation, the Commission demonstrated that it believes the Abilene Zoo is capable of continuing to meet its standards, and I remain optimistic that the AZA will ultimately grant us the full five-year accreditation," said zoo director Bill Baker said in a press release. "You can rest assured that our zoo staff is already making progress on areas cited by the AZA that require fine tuning. We still have a great zoo where there’s something wonderful for visitors of all ages to experience.”
Abilene's Zoo still meets state and federal guidelines.The facility will be re-inspected in the next year.Related Links: