AZA News Releases

Statement - Occupational Safety of Elephant Care Professionals

Silver Spring, MD – The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has adopted a series of measures to advance the occupational safety of elephant care professionals at AZA-accredited and AZA-certified related facilities.  AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy made the following statement:

“The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is committed to the safety of the professionals who dedicate themselves to the care and conservation of wild animals.

The adoption of new polices by the AZA Board of Directors to advance the safety of elephant care professionals is consistent with AZA’s decades-long tradition of leadership in setting high standards for zoos and aquariums.

AZA provides significant training and professional development opportunities for zoo and aquarium professionals, including elephant care providers.  This new policy will significantly expand training, with the goal of developing a safer workplace.

While this is a policy aimed squarely at occupational safety, it does so in a way that is consistent with providing the highest level of elephant care and welfare.

The job of advancing workplace safety, and the job of caring for animals in zoos and aquariums, is never done.  The professionals at AZA-accredited and certified related facilities are focused on this every day, and deserve as much support  as AZA can provide.

A full copy of AZA’s policy on maximizing the occupational safety of elephant care professionals can be found here:

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, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA 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 global wildlife conservation and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. To learn more, visit

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