Zoos across America are subject to the scrutiny of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), including Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek.

Not only has Binder Park been accredited repeatedly for its operation, but it now is receiving special recognition for continuous accreditation. The zoo issued an announcement this week with the details. Congratulations Binder Park Zoo.

Listen for the Binder Park Zoo update Thursdays at 8:44 a.m. on WBCK.

Binder Park Zoo Receives Award for 25 Years of Accreditation
BATTLE CREEK, MI  December 30, 2015:  Binder Park Zoo was the recent recipient of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Quarter Century Award for over 25 years of continuous accreditation.  A total of 119 institutes in the United States have received this award.  Binder Park Zoo was established in 1975 and was first accredited by AZA in 1983 when they were one of the first two zoos accredited in Michigan.  There are currently five accredited zoological institutions in Michigan and a total of 230 in the United States. 
This tremendous achievement recognizes Binder Park Zoo’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards in animal care, welfare, management, veterinary care, conservation, education, staffing, facilities, safety, and guest services, in addition to their dedication to best modern zoological practices and philosophies.
“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. “The community should take great pride in knowing that Binder Park Zoo is a proven leader in the care and conservation of wildlife, and in inspiring people to take action to protect the natural world.”
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 operations 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.
About Binder Park Zoo
Over 7,000,000 people have visited Binder Park Zoo and an additional 500,000 have been served through outreach programs since it was established in 1975.  It is located outside of Battle Creek, Michigan, on 433 acres of natural forests and wetlands.  In the past 37 years, the Zoo has grown to be one of the leading cultural attractions in the region.  It was created on the model of an entrepreneurial self-supporting nonprofit organization, and is managed by a zoological society board of directors to "nurture empathy, understanding, and conservation of nature."  In the last twenty years a conservation education center, a 40-acre natural wetlands exhibit, the 50-acre Wild Africa exhibit, and Conservation Carousel have been added to the original 80-acre zoo.  Binder Park Zoo serves over 60,000 people annually in 30 different types of formal education programs and is heavily involved in conservation of wildlife and natural habitats on five continents.  In cooperation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and others, Binder Park Zoo is actively working to conserve a wide array of endangered species both at the Zoo and worldwide.