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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, August 16, 2019

Aquarium celebrates major milestone of animal care




Dan Ashe, the president and CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, visited the Tennessee Aquarium this month in recognition of more than a quarter-century of meeting the AZA’s expectations for excellence.

“By achieving accreditation continuously for more than 25 years, the Tennessee Aquarium demonstrates a commitment to protecting animals around the world and inspiring their guests to do the same,” Ashe said.

The AZA has accredited 236 zoos and aquariums internationally. Each organization undergoes a lengthy inspection by a team of experts to ensure it meets standards across a range of criteria, including veterinary resources, participation in conservation and research, education programming, safety, security, staffing, guest service and the quality of the facilities.

The Tennessee Aquarium underwent this multi-day inspection in December 2018. In their inspection report, the visiting committee delivered high praise to the Aquarium for “enthusiasm and dedication amongst the staff,” “commitment to local conservation efforts” and “significant contribution to economic development in Chattanooga.”

Facilities are re-evaluated and re-accredited every five years.

Before taking over as head of the AZA in 2017, Ashe was director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In addition to touring both Aquarium buildings, Ashe toured the Aquarium’s freshwater science center and met with the staff of the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute.

“I’m impressed that the Aquarium has made the commitment to helping species we don’t see or think about on a daily basis,” Ashe said. “We share a common bond with those species in the quality and quantity of water that’s available to us. And when those species are having trouble existing, that tells us something about our own existence and how fragile it is.”

Learn more at aza.org/becoming-accredited.

Source: Tennessee Aquarium