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AZA Grants Accreditation to Ocean Park Corporation

2013-05-10

(Hong Kong – May 10 2013) – The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) today announced that the Ocean Park Corporation was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.

“By meeting the highest standards, Ocean Park is ranked among the best zoos and aquariums in the world,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “When people visit Ocean Park, they can be assured that they are supporting a facility that is a leader in the care and conservation of wildlife.”

To be accredited, Ocean Park underwent a thorough review by AZA to ensure it has and will continue to meet ever-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.  This is the third five-year accreditation term in a row for Ocean Park, and the Park is the only AZA-accredited animal facility in the world outside of the Americas. Some other leading facilities accredited include San Diego Zoo, Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, Zoo Atlanta and Monterey Bay Aquarium, California.

“Ocean Park is an impressive animal facility that integrates its conservation messaging consistently throughout its exhibits, allowing guests to understand the need to conserve our wonderful wildlife species. Guests are also actively invited to play their part by committing to specific personal pledges, or choosing a project to support by making a donation. The focus Ocean Park places on conservation is in line with its mission, and makes a difference through engaging each and every guest in meaningful conservation actions", said Tom Meehan, Chair of Visiting Committee, AZA and Vice President of Veterinary Services, Chicago Zoological Society - Brookfield Zoo.

“As the first and only theme park outside North America to meet the stringent accreditation requirements of the AZA, we take pride in nurturing healthy animal ambassadors so that they can help connect people with nature. Our 36-year-old giant panda Jia Jia, the oldest living giant panda under human care in the world, is a great testament to our longstanding devotion to world-class animal care,” said Tom Mehrmann, Chief Executive of Ocean Park.

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 of management and operations.  Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal hearing of AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission, after which accreditation is granted or denied.

Photo 1: The Grand Aquarium boasts the world’s largest 5.5-metre aquarium viewing dome, allowing guests to appreciate close to 5,000 fish of over 450 species
Photo 1: The Grand Aquarium boasts the world’s largest 5.5-metre aquarium viewing dome, allowing guests to appreciate close to 5,000 fish of over 450 species
Photo 2: The South Pole Spectacular attraction was opened in 2012, as part of Ocean Park’s latest themed area Polar Adventure
Photo 2: The South Pole Spectacular attraction was opened in 2012, as part of Ocean Park’s latest themed area Polar Adventure