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City of Greenville Official News Releases

Posted on: November 20, 2020

Greenville Zoo Earns Accreditation for 26th Year

The Greenville Zoo is pleased to announce “good standing” and continued accreditation by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). The zoo received the positive news at hearing earlier today. Zoo and City staff have worked diligently to correct areas of concern identified by the AZA. 

“This accreditation is important to the City of Greenville because it serves as the Gold Standard in animal care and welfare, conservation, education, and professional excellence,” said Zoo Administrator Bill Cooper. “Its peer review of our physical facility, procedures, and operations ensures that we are providing excellent care for animals, maintaining the highest levels of safety, and providing the best experiences for our guests.” 

 A 2019 visit from AZA inspectors found:

  • The Zoo’s animal hospital did not have a dedicated space for necropsies; surgery space was not up to AZA standards; and outdoor holding and quarantine areas were too close to each other.
  • The lion holding area was listed as inadequate.
  • The size and diversity of the Zoo’s collection required additional staffing.
  • There were physical facility-related issues, such as electrical work and housekeeping, in need of improvement.

The City immediately began working to address these concerns. The animal hospital was renovated, a new lion holding building was constructed, and all electrical and housekeeping issues were addressed. Additionally, two new zookeeper positions were created and filled. 

During a September reinspection, AZA officials expressed confidence in the zoo’s progress, determining that  the identified issues had been properly addressed. The accreditation process occurs every five years. The Greenville Zoo has maintained the AZA accreditation for 26 years.

Visit the Greenville Zoo online
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