AZA News Releases

Statement on Ohio Animal Escapes

Silver Spring, MD – The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) issued the following statement regarding the animal escapes at a private facility in Zanesville, Ohio:

The private facility in Ohio, from which animals were released into the surrounding community, was not an AZA-accredited zoo.

While it is unfortunate that escaped animals had to be killed, human safety must come first. While the first concern is for human safety, professionals from the Columbus Zoo and The Wilds are providing assistance to local authorities, and are helping with strategies to capture remaining loose animals, if possible.

We applaud the bravery and professionalism of both local law enforcement and zoo professionals on the scene. They are well trained and we urge anyone in the area to remain in a safe location and allow them to do their work. We hope that the situation is resolved safely. 

A number of states regulate the ownership of dangerous wild animals by private individuals.  We urge the State of Ohio and others to adopt such regulations.Wild animals do not make good pets.  AZA-accredited zoos have the facilities and expertise to properly and safely care for wild animals.

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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