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Columbus Zoo and Aquarium accredited by Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums

The accreditation was granted after a two-day on-site inspection of the Zoo's manatee, polar bear, sea lion and harbor seal facilities.

POWELL, Ohio — The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium announced Thursday it has earned accreditation by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. 

The accreditation was granted after a two-day on-site inspection of the Zoo's manatee, polar bear, sea lion and harbor seal facilities.

The zoo planned for several years to apply for accreditation through AMMPA but wanted to wait until Adventure Cove debuted in July 2020, according to a release. The process was also delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

To be accredited, AMMPA facilities must meet or exceed rigorous standards covering 11 different areas ranging from animal health, animal welfare, training and enrichment, to water and environmental quality, breeding, transportation, education, and scientific research and conservation.  

You can read more about the standards here

The accreditation marks an achievement for the zoo's newest president and CEO Tom Schmid, who was previously an executive at Texas State Aquarium for 25 years.

The Columbus Zoo is fighting back to win back accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquarium. 

The AZA voted to deny the zoo's accreditation on Oct. 1, citing an ongoing investigation into the misuse of funds at the zoo as well as reports of international animal transfers for entertainment purposes. 

The Columbus Zoo filed an appeal on Nov. 5. If the appeal is unsuccessful, the soonest the zoo can apply for accreditation is September 2022. 

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