AZA News Releases

AZA Board Upholds Accreditation Commission Denial of Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s Accreditation

In October, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) independent Accreditation Commission (the Commission) reviewed and denied the accreditation application of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, which subsequently appealed the Commission’s decision to the AZA Board of Directors. Yesterday, the AZA Board met and upheld the Commission’s decision denying accreditation to Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

The AZA Board of Directors issued the following statement:

“After carefully considering the appeal request submitted by Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, the AZA Board of Directors affirmed the decision by the AZA Accreditation Commission. Like the members of the Commission, we do not make this decision lightly. We are encouraged by recent actions taken by new leadership at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, but in view of the serious and persistent violations of AZA standards, over at least the past 5 years, we cannot accredit at this time. We are hopeful that Columbus will continue addressing recommendations from the Commission, and seek accreditation from AZA again in the near future.”

To learn more about AZA’s accreditation process and standards, please visit

About AZA

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and 12 other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit

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