It's not automatic...it's earned!
The Brandywine Zoo is accredited through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), a worldwide network of more than 6,000 committed zoo and aquarium professionals, organizations, and suppliers. This accreditation is much more than just an affiliation. In order to earn accreditation, each zoo must undergo a thorough review that includes a detailed accreditation application as well as a multiple day on-site inspection by a team of experts from around the country. The zoo is carefully evaluated to make sure it meets AZA's standards for animal management and care including living environments, social groupings, health, and nutrition. Inspectors also make sure that animals are provided with enrichment, which stimulates each animal's natural behavior and provides variety in their daily routine.
The Accreditation Commission also evaluates the veterinary program, involvement in conservation and research, education programs, safety policies and procedures, security, physical facilities, guest services, and the quality of the institution's staff. And because a zoo or aquarium needs a strong foundation in order to continue to meet high standards, accreditation also evaluates each institution's finances, its governing authority, and its support organization. In other words, every aspect of a zoo’s or aquarium’s facility is carefully reviewed.
Most important, AZA accreditation is on-going. Zoos and aquariums are constantly evolving and standards are continuously raised. Each zoo or aquarium must keep up with these changes to remain AZA accredited. And to prove it, they must go through the entire accreditation process every five years! AZA believes that nothing is more important than assuring the highest standards of animal care. This tough accreditation process does just that! The Brandywine Zoo was first accredited in 1981 and has been reaccredited every five years since then.
So, when you see the AZA logo you are assured that your are supporting an organization dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you and your family and a better future for all living things.