Calgary Zoo Takes Top Honours in Zoo Standards and Operations

The Calgary Zoo is proud to have been granted accreditation by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ (AZA) independent commission, marking 40 continuous years of holding this designation. Following a multi-day site inspection this past summer, the zoo was informed of its achievement at this year’s AZA conference in Seattle, Washington.

“This process is a very thorough review that opens up the doors to our animal care and welfare, veterinary programs, conservation work, education, visitor services and safety, says Dr. Clément Lanthier, President and CEO, Calgary Zoo. “We take this accreditation very seriously, with the ever-rising standards in zoo operations, this designation provides us with an increased vigor to continue our critical conservation work which is aimed at protecting species-at-risk here in Canada and around the world.”

AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years in order to be members of the Association. 

“The Calgary Zoo is among the world-class aquariums and zoos that have achieved our rigorous accreditation standards,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “The hundreds of millions of annual guests to AZA-accredited facilities, like the Calgary Zoo, can be assured their visit is supporting institutions that provide the highest-quality animal care and ARE contributing to conservation initiatives that save animals from extinction.”

In addition to the accreditation achievement, the Calgary Zoo was also recognized with the AZA 2018 Green Award for the zoo’s significant achievement in its sustainability program. Over the last few years, the zoo has built a robust sustainability program to span all aspects of the park starting with the building of a Green Team Council to oversee all ideas, direction and implementation.

The program’s successes include a three-stream bin system for waste on site and implementation of compostable plastics, educating staff, volunteers, visitors and the community about these initiatives. The zoo is proud to have diverted 70% of its waste away from the landfill.  In addition, the latest Panda Passage habitat will have Petal Certification through the Living Building Challenge – one of the highest standards in the environmental construction industry.

To round out the list of achievements, the zoo was also awarded accreditation from the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) during their September conference. This designation serves a benchmark for quality animal care and welfare within Canada.

Source: Calgary Zoo