Non-Compliance to governance standards cited as only obstacles to
maintaining AZA standards
TORONTO, April 18, 2012 /CNW/ - The Toronto Zoo announced today that
they have been denied the accreditation of Association of Zoos and
Aquariums (AZA) effective immediately and will be ineligible for
re-application until March 1, 2013. The Board of Directors of the AZA
voted unanimously to deny the accreditation based largely upon the
inability of the Toronto Zoo to meet various AZA governance standards.
Specifically, the AZA had cited "the action taken by the City Council
regarding the management of animals in the zoo's collection, which is
not in compliance" with a number of governing authority standards.
"Clearly, we are disappointed with the decision made by the AZA," said
John Tracogna, CEO, Toronto Zoo. "There was never any question of the
Toronto Zoo's animal care, governance was the key issue. We have been
working diligently to create a stronger governance model that will
enable us to effectively deliver upon the Zoo's core mandates - those
of public education, conservation, research, species preservation, and
regional tourism, while lessening the financial burden to the taxpayer.
We will provide an update on this new model in the near future."
The Toronto Zoo will continue to be focused on excellence in zoo
management and operations throughout the reapplication timeframe and
beyond. In the short term, minimal impacts of this ruling is
anticipated in the expectation that the Zoo will be once again become
AZA accredited in 2013.
The Toronto Zoo has been accredited with the AZA since 1977. As a
longstanding member, it complied with and adhered to the highest
standards and best practices set by the AZA - a framework that helped
the Toronto Zoo develop a strong international reputation in animal
care and zoo management. Additionally, collaboration with the AZA has
been instrumental in the success of the Zoo's Species Survival Programs
About the Toronto Zoo
The Toronto Zoo is Canada's premier zoo and a leader in animal
preservation and environmental protection. More than a tourist
attraction, the Toronto Zoo boasts a number of leading programs for
helping animals and their natural habitats - from species
reintroduction to reproductive research. A world-class educational
center for people of all ages, the Toronto Zoo is open every day except
Christmas, and attracts approximately 1.3 million visitors each year.
Follow the Toronto Zoo on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheTorontoZoo
SOURCE Toronto Zoo
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