AZA Grants Accreditation and Gives Marketing Award to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo at 2015 Annual Conference

Silver Spring, Maryland, September 29, 2015 – At this year’s annual Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) conference, the AZA announced that Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission and the Zoo was awarded with Top Honors in marketing.

“Only zoos and aquariums that meet the highest standards are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “By achieving AZA-accreditation, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo demonstrates that it is dedicated to protecting species and educating its visitors about the natural world.”

To be accredited, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo underwent a thorough review to ensure it has and will continue to meet rising standards, which include animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years in order to be members of the Association.

The accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspecting team observes all aspects of the institution’s operation, including animal care; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; visitor services; and other areas. Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal hearing of AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission, after which accreditation is granted, tabled, or denied. Any institution that is denied may reapply one year after the Commission’s decision is made.

Following the accreditation announcement, the AZA also awarded Cheyenne Mountain Zoo with Top Honors in marketing for its “I Will Protect” campaign.

“This award recognizes the creativity of the staff at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in utilizing their resources and expertise to their highest potential to communicate to the public the unique experiences that only AZA-accredited institutions can offer,” said Maddy. “Marketing campaigns like I Will Protect help people re-connect with nature by encouraging them to visit AZA-accredited aquariums and zoos, where opportunities to learn more about wildlife continue to be offered in new and impactful ways.

The AZA Marketing Award recognizes excellence in marketing campaigns developed and executed by its AZA member institutions. The campaign must utilize a marketing mix with a minimum of three communication channels, such as television, radio, print advertising, outdoor, internet, direct mail, etc

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 seven 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 www.aza.org.