A photo from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm.

A photo from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm.

The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park will be honored in a special ceremony at 10 a.m. May 8 for its recent accreditation by The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). The Alligator Farm was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.

In order to achieve this prestigious recognition, The Alligator Farm demonstrated a commitment to rigorous standards in animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. Part of the accreditation process included a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals. For this inspection, The Alligator Farm received the first perfect score ever awarded in AZA’s history.  “We’re honored and proud to host AZA officials and to celebrate our perfect inspection score and our accreditation,” said John Brueggen, Zoo Director.

“Our staff and trainers work very hard to make The Alligator Farm an important contributor to education, conservation, and animal research. At the same time, we maintain a fun and positive park environment for visitors and residents to enjoy. It’s gratifying to be recognized by the AZA in this manner.”

“The Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredits only those zoos and aquariums that meet the highest standards,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “As a proven leader in the care and conservation of wildlife and education outreach, The St. Augustine Alligator Farm is ranked among the best zoos and aquariums in the world.”

During the May 8  celebration event, AZA Executive Director Kristin L. Vehrs will visit The Alligator Farm and present a commemorative accreditation plaque to Brueggen and Alligator Farm owner David Drysdale.

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and seven other countries.

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