NEW Zoo Earns Accreditation

The NEW Zoo & Adventure Park has once again earned the prestigious accreditation by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). Widely regarded as the “gold standard” of zoological accreditation, AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission recently reviewed 30 applications for accreditation during the AZA’s 2023 Annual Conference held in Columbus, Ohio. The NEW Zoo was one of 22 facilities that earned accreditation.

AZA accreditation includes a detailed application and a meticulous, on-site, multiple-day inspection by an independent team of zoological professionals. The inspecting team analyzes all aspects of the facility’s operation, including animal welfare and wellbeing; veterinary care; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff, and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; financial stability; risk management; governance; and guest services. A thorough review ensures each accredited facility has and will continue to meet ever-rising standards. AZA facilities must complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years as a condition of Association membership.

“Every year, AZA sends over 200 accreditation inspectors around the world to review 60 to 70 applications for accreditation,” said Dan Ashe, president and CEO of AZA. “AZA’s standards are continuously revised to reflect cutting-edge zoological practices based on the latest animal wellbeing science and research. Clearly, the best-of-the-best zoos and aquariums want to be part of our association.”

NEW Zoo & Adventure Park Director Carmen Murach adds, “Earning AZA accreditation is a significant accomplishment – and it’s one we’ve held now for 27 years. There are only 237 AZA-accredited facilities in the United States. We’re proud to be members of this respected community dedicated to conservation, education, and to providing the best for the animals in our care.”

For a complete list of accredited AZA facilities, visit


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