The Cape May County Zoo is considered to be one of the top-ranked zoos in the country, with more than 620,000 visitors annually.
Cape May County Zoo Veterinarian and Assistant Director Alexander Ernst announced, “After a yearlong process that included applications, inspections, hearings and reviews, the Cape May County Zoo is proud to report that it has been successfully accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and the Zoological Association of America (ZAA).”
The Cape May County Zoo underwent intensive examination and inspection from the two major Zoo accrediting bodies this summer. In addition, the Zoo was required to submit applications that allowed both the AZA & ZAA to scrutinize and review all major operations which include animal care and welfare, veterinary care, safety protocols, community outreach, education and conservation.
“After these intensive reviews and inspections took place, the accrediting commissions of the AZA & ZAA have both returned their decision to fully accredit the Cape May County Zoo for the next five years,” Ernst said.
The accreditation cycle lasts five years after which time the institution is required to go through the process again.
“This schedule ensures that the facility is keeping up with modern and ever-changing standards and best practices,” Ernst said.
The AZA has been the primary accrediting body for zoos and aquariums for over 40 years. The accreditation process is done every five years to ensure the facilities are maintaining and updating new standards as they evolve and implementing the best practices in animal welfare and management.
“Being accredited by both major zoological accrediting bodies is a unique accomplishment. Only 10 facilities in the entire country have gained both. These accolades guarantee to our community that the Cape May County Zoo cares for its animal residents to the highest and most stringent of standards,” said County Commissioner Andrew Bulakowski, liaison to the County Parks and Zoo.
The ZAA is a non-profit membership-based organization dedicated to responsible wildlife management, conservations, and education. The ZAA upholds the highest level of professional standards in animal welfare, safety, and ethics.
“The Cape May County Zoo has received many awards and recognitions as a top attraction of which we are extremely proud, but earning accreditation by both the AZA and the ZAA is an honor which gives us an extreme source of pride. Wherever I go, I hear positive comments about our Zoo, and with the number of visitors we get year-round, we knew we had the best Zoo and Parks in the region. Receiving both accreditations justifies that sentiment,” Bulakowski said.