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ABQ BioPark continues to earn prestigious AZA accreditation

Certification places ABQ BioPark among nation’s best zoos and aquariums

ALBUQUERQUE - While there are approximately 2,800 licensed animal exhibitors across the United States, less than 10% meet the rigorous standards required of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). The ABQ BioPark has been continuously accredited by the AZA for more than 30 years demonstrating the BioPark’s ongoing leadership in animal welfare and veterinary care, conservation, education, guest experience and safety.

Every five years the BioPark is required to go through the entire accreditation application process in order to retain their accreditation. On November 4, 2021, the AZA awarded another five-year accreditation to the ABQ BioPark, following a rigorous inspection visit earlier in the year.

“This is a testament to the hard work of the entire BioPark team and made possible by the strong support this cherished institution has from families in our city,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “The BioPark has had major expansions this year and we’re excited for big developments slated to come. We’re innovating at our BioPark and will continue to provide new, high-quality experiences for families across the city.”

“AZA Accreditation is only possible through a full-team collaborative effort, and I’m immensely proud of our team’s commitment to not just meeting, but exceeding, the highest standards in our industry,” said Stephanie Stowell, ABQ BioPark Director. “We truly could not have accomplished this without our dedicated BioPark staff, volunteers, concessionaires at SSA, and our support organization, the New Mexico BioPark Society.”

The accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspecting team observes all aspects of an institution's operation, including animal care; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; visitor services; and other areas. Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal hearing of AZA's independent Accreditation Commission, after which accreditation is granted, tabled, or denied.

More information about the accreditation process and standards can be found here.