WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – The City of Waco has announced the renewal of Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accreditation for Cameron Park Zoo.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Independent Accreditation Commission met with representatives of Cameron Park Municipal Zoo and the Cameron Park Zoological & Botanical Society last week to review the zoo’s AZA accreditation renewal application. Meeting with the Accreditation Commission was Deidra Emerson, Deputy City Manager; Johnny Binder, director of the zoo; Dr. James Kusmierczyk, veterinarian; Manda Butler, General Curator; and Terri Cox, executive director of the Cameron Park Zoological & Botanical Society.
Accreditation included a detailed application and multi-day on-site inspection by an independent team of trained zoological professionals. The inspection team observed all aspects of the operation of the facility – including animal welfare and welfare; veterinary care; goalkeeper training; the safety of visitors, staff and animals; educational programs; Conservation efforts; financial stability; risk management; governance; and guest services.
The detailed reports from the inspection team and the facility are then thoroughly assessed by the Commission. Senior officials are also questioned by the Accreditation Commission in a formal hearing, after which accreditation is granted, extended for a year or denied.
Cameron Park Zoo has undergone a thorough review to ensure it meets and will continue to meet standards with an emphasis on animal welfare and care, veterinary programs, conservation , education and security. The AZA requires facilities to complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years as a condition of membership in the Association.
Waco Mayor Dillon Meek said, “We recognize all the outstanding work our zoo staff are doing throughout this process and are proud of the outcome. The Cameron Park Zoo is an asset to our community, and I am grateful for the continued dedication to providing excellent care to the animals entrusted to our care.