AZA News Releases

Statement by Association of Zoos and Aquariums Regarding the Euthanasia of Giraffe at the Copenhagen

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) issued the following statement:

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums regrets the unfortunate incident at the Copenhagen Zoo involving the death of a giraffe. Incidents of that sort do not happen at AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums for several reasons:

AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums carefully manage breeding programs, maximizing the genetic diversity of the populations and minimizing the births of more animals than the population can support or the zoo can care for. 

The more than 200 accredited zoos and aquariums and partner organizations in America have a well-developed system of exchanging animals between facilities, and providing appropriate care for all animals.

Finally, when an animal needs medical care, or in limited cases must be euthanized, the procedures are carried out in humane and professional settings, following professional veterinary guidelines that respect the dignity and welfare of the animal.

 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 six 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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