Some great news were released yesterday at the mid-year conference of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) in Columbia, South Carolina.
The AZA has officially accredited Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park as well as Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge for the next five years. Accredited zoos and aquariums must meet the organization’s high standards for animal management and care, including living environments, social groupings, health, and more.

The evaluation also includes 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.

The AZA shared the results of Disney's accreditation evaluation. Here are a few points of achievement included in their final report: 
  • “The level and commitment to animal care sets the gold standard for our community. Veterinary, nutrition, training, browse program and enrichment programs are state of the art. Individual cases like mandrill integration and physical and cognitive therapy for gorilla Lily are excellent examples.” 
  • “The keeper staff is professional, passionate and engaged...”
  • “Overall safety culture is extraordinarily strong across the organization, and staff training exceeds all expectations. Successful initiatives such as the "Near Miss" program.”
  • “New interpretive programs, Wilderness Scouts, and Wild Africa Trek, add both breadth and depth to program offerings.”
  • “Disney's Animal Kingdom staff have been successful in making conservation a key value of the Walt Disney Company. The current positive impact and future potential of this change cannot be overstated. Company-wide sustainability practices are one good example.”
Being accredited means that the Walt Disney World Resort is able to work with zoos and aquariums across the country to cooperatively manage their animals and work collectively to save animals.

Having this accreditation also means the company can continue to participate actively in a number of programs, including the Species Survival Plan and AZA SAFE – Saving Animals from Extinction, with other accredited organizations that help make a difference for wildlife. 

The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot is accredited separately and received its accreditation in 2014.

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1 Comment(s):

Anonymous said...

This is good news. I wasn't sure what this really meant and so looked it up... For those unaware, there is another organization called the ZAA which condones the breeding of offbeat animals (such as white tigers which are NOT natural). I found an article at that tells the difference.

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