Association of Zoos and Aquariums denies re-accreditation of Honolulu Zoo citing concerns about consistent funding
News Release from AZA, March 22, 2016
Omaha, Nebraska - A panel of Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) executive members met with a team from the Honolulu Zoo this Monday in Omaha, Nebraska to consider the city’s application for re-accreditation of the Honolulu Zoo. Shortly after the meeting, AZA officials notified the team the application had been denied, citing concerns about consistent funding. The AZA encouraged Honolulu to re-apply for accreditation once the funding situation has been addressed by both the city and its community partners. There is a one year waiting period before Honolulu can re-apply.
The AZA made it clear they are pleased with the direction of the Honolulu Zoo, including the work done on deferred maintenance and the care of animals. Maintenance and animal care did not factor into the decision to deny re-accreditation. However, the AZA is concerned the city has not provided adequate funding to the zoo on a consistent basis. This item had been highlighted in previous inspections and the AZA determined that it has not been adequately addressed.
The city team that traveled to Omaha consisted of Honolulu Zoo Director Dr. Baird Fleming, Assistant Zoo Director Linda Santos, and Managing Director Roy Amemiya. Dr. Fleming said his staff will continue to apply all AZA standards and best practices at the zoo going forward.
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Association of Zoos and Aquariums letter affirms Honolulu Zoo on track toward re-accreditation
News Release from City and County of Honolulu, April 1, 2016
Honolulu – The city has received the formal letter from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) on March 31, 2016, which affirms that a lack of consistent funding is the overriding reason for the Honolulu Zoo losing its accreditation last Monday (see attached).
The letter, received Thursday, has been shared with zoo staff, the Honolulu Zoo Society and city councilmembers.
In the letter, Chuck Wikenhauser, chair of the AZA’s Accreditation Committee, states animals at the zoo are being “well cared for by staff” and the organization is encouraged by the “dedicated leadership” and strategic plan put forth by Zoo Director Baird Fleming.
The city team that traveled to Omaha for the accreditation process consisted of Director Fleming, Assistant Zoo Director Linda Santos, and Managing Director Roy Amemiya, Jr. Director Fleming and his staff will continue to apply all AZA standards and best practices at the Honolulu Zoo, while preparing for the re-accreditation process.
SA: Honolulu Zoo loses accreditation
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KHON: Honolulu Zoo denied re-accreditation over funding concerns
PBN: Honolulu Zoo loses accreditation over funding worries