VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Virginia Aquarium has been granted accreditation by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, the AZA announced Tuesday.
The accreditation process includes a detailed application and meticulous on-site inspection. The inspection team observes the institution’s operation, including animal care; keeper training; visitor, staff and animal safety; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; visitor services; and other areas. After the inspection, officials from the facility are interviewed at a formal hearing.
AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years in order to be members of the Association.
“Accreditation by AZA signifies that the Virginia Aquarium is providing the best animal welfare and care possible,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “As a proven leader in wildlife conservation, the Virginia Aquarium is among the best zoos and aquariums in the world.”
AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and eight other countries.