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Akron Zoo is re-accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Only about 200 facilities have received AZA certifcation worldwide

Kabir Bhatia
These snow leopards, born last year at the Akron Zoo, are among the many endangered species the zoo is permitted to have thanks to the certification, which Akron has had since 1989
Courtesy of WKSU
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The Akron Zoo has been re-accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a certification that allows Akron to host several endangered species. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports.
LISTEN: Akron Zoo re-certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums

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The Association of Zoos and Aquariums – or AZA – says it only provides its accreditation to facilities that are dedicated to protecting species and educating visitors.

Akron Zoo spokesman David Barnhardt says his zoo has been AZA-certified since 1989, allowing visitors to experience a number of rare and endangered animals such as penguins.

“We’ve had success here breeding them. Since 2003, we’ve had 15 penguin chicks born here at the Akron Zoo. And then we also had the opportunity to send a keeper over to South America and do some research and conservation work in the field.”

Barnhardt says visitors also get to learn about the animals.

“We have Zoo Camp. Or Snooze At the Zoo where families or Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts can come and spend the night. And then we have a host of programs throughout the year that we do [such as] out Stroller Safaris and some of our special events always have an education mission with them.”

The AZA has certified about 200 facilities worldwide that it says provide the highest levels of animal care and visitor education.

Certification is done every five years, and includes a review of the zoo’s animal care, conservation and education programs.

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