Congratulations to the Lake Superior Zoo employees, board members and the community.  After five years without accreditation status and hours and days of hard work and dedication, our City's Zoo has achieved AZA accreditation!

What does that mean?

The accolade places the zoo in the top 10 percent of zoos and aquariums in the United States.

The announcement was made at the AZA conference in Atlanta, GA. The zoo’s CEO, Sam

Maida, and the Director of Animal Management, Peter Pruett, were in attendance.

Maida said he was delighted to see the zoo back in such prestigious standing. Having lost

accreditation in 2006, Maida said the staff and community have put countless hours and

resources into re-establishing a world-class zoo.

The zoo’s Director of Animal Management, Peter Pruett, said he was honored to see the zoo

recognized for its exemplary animal care and dedicated enthusiastic staff in every department of

the zoo. “I couldn’t think of a better way to thank and reward all the staff’s efforts and the

community’s support then by gaining AZA accreditation,” he said. “The northland community

has yet another reason to proud, there’s a world-class zoo they get to claim as their own.”

AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy complimented the zoo, saying only “the best of the best”

rise to such status.

To become accredited, the zoo underwent a thorough investigation to ensure it has met, and will

continue to meet, ever-rising standards, which include animal care, veterinary programs,

conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete

this rigorous accreditation process every five years in order to be members of the Association.

The accreditation process included a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by

a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspection team observes all aspects of

the institution’s operation in areas such as 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. The inspection team prepares an

extensive written report for AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission. Finally, top

officials are interviewed at a formal Commission hearing, after which accreditation is granted,

tabled, or denied.

Info via:  City of Duluth/Lake Superior Zoo:  Holly Henry