AZA News Releases

Dallas Zoo Incidents Apparently Deliberate

Recent incidents involving the escape, death, and apparent theft of animals at the Dallas Zoo are being investigated as intentional acts. Dan Ashe, President and CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which accredits the Dallas Zoo, issued the following statement:

“While recent incidents targeting animals at the Dallas Zoo are troubling, AZA continues to maintain utmost confidence in the professional staff at Dallas Zoo. To be clear, Dallas Zoo’s accreditation with AZA is not in jeopardy.

“Dallas Zoo and its animals are victims of acts, presumably intended to take animals for personal reasons, or worse, to be trafficked. AZA and its entire member community stand squarely with Dallas Zoo and condemn these acts of violence against the Zoo, its animals, and the entire Dallas community. We are anxious for the perpetrator or perpetrators to be apprehended and stopped, and we applaud and support the work of law enforcement professionals who are leading these investigations. We hope anyone with information about these incidents comes forward. AZA wants to thank the Dallas Police Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their support.

“In the meantime, AZA encourages its members to provide every support possible to the Dallas Zoo and to be extra cautious and alert until all responsible parties are apprehended.”

About the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (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 eight 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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