Questions about AZA ResignationPosted by EJ Rivers on Aug 25, 2016
Lots of people are asking questions about what resigning from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums means for the Jackson Zoo.
In order to better help everyone understand what this is all about, here are the most asked questions and the answers regarding the Jackson Zoo Boards recent decision.
“What is the AZA?”
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a group of zoo and animal care professionals that have agreed on a level of standards for zoos regarding animal care, facilities, business structure and financing, development, conservation, and species survival. It is well respected, and can make certain aspects of running a zoo easier.
The Jackson Zoo plans to re-apply as soon as possible, but until that time, we still work with other AZA zoos and professionals. In fact, key members of zoo staff remain a part of the AZA organization, and ALL staff remain dedicated to the practices and policies of the AZA.
“Will we lose animals on loan from other zoos?”
Not that we know of. The Jackson Zoo Deputy Director has talked to many of the zoos that we currently work with. No one has given any indication that they would request the return of their animals, and are understanding and empathetic to our course of action. It also follows that the Jackson Zoo will not request the return of any animals we have on loan to AZA zoos.
Our level of animal care is not in question.
“Is the Jackson Zoo failing/closing?”
No. Daily operations will not experience any change, and currently scheduled 2016 activities are a go, plus events for 2017 and beyond are in concrete planning stages.
Thursday, we have PokemonGO Safari from 5-7:30. $5 for general admission, $3 for members
September 3-5 is Frozen Treat Animal Enrichment Weekend, 3 days of keepers doling out frozen treats to their animals (regular admission).
September 22 is Zoo Party Unleashed at Highland Village.
Also to come is Boo at the Zoo in October and Cookies with Santa in December.
The Jackson Zoo Board of Directors unveiled the Ten Year Plan for a “new zoo” at the end of 2015, and part of the decision to formally resign from the AZA for a brief period is to make that plan a reality. In the coming two to three years, we will be building the financial stability to step into our second century and fulfill the vision of how our currently good zoo can become great.