Zoo Boise Earns Prestigious Accreditation from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums

Sep 26, 2023

tiger licking cage

Zoo Boise, a division of Boise Parks and Recreation, is proud to be one of 22 zoos and aquariums across the country to earn prestigious accreditation from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). Widely regarded as the “gold standard” of zoological accreditation, AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission reviewed 30 applications for accreditation during the AZA’s 2023 Annual Conference held in Columbus, Ohio. Zoo Boise has been accredited by the AZA consecutively since 2002.

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. Detailed reports from the inspection team and the facility alike are then thoroughly evaluated by the commission. Finally, the commission interviews top officials from the facility at a formal hearing before accreditation is granted.

“Every year, AZA sends over 200 accreditation inspectors around the world to review 60 to 70 applications for AZA accreditation. We also have nearly 40 facilities participating in our Pathway Toward Membership program, which is indicative of the growing importance of independent 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.” A thorough review ensures each 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. “The ability to earn AZA accreditation is a significant accomplishment not many achieve and is a testament to these facilities’ dedication to the animals in their care,” added Ashe.

 “Zoo Boise is proud to be an industry leader when it comes to animal care, conservation and overall excellence,” said Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway. “This continues the incredible standard we have set in Boise and our team is committed to continuing to meet accreditation standards into the future.”

AZA accreditation is assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors and a better future for all living things.

“Receiving this important accreditation is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Zoo Boise staff and volunteers as well as the continued support of Friends of Zoo Boise and Parks and Recreation,” added Zoo Boise Director Gene Peacock. “It allows us to continue or mission of education and conservation while we grow and improve the zoo experience for all.”

There are currently 237 AZA-accredited facilities and 15 AZA-accredited related facility members throughout the U.S. and 12 other countries. For a complete list of accredited AZA facilities, please visit the organization’s website.

Zoo Boise is owned by the City of Boise and managed by the Boise Parks and Recreation department in partnership with the Friends of Zoo Boise, a private non-profit organization. Zoo Boise is open daily from 10AM to 5PM with last admission at 4PM.