El Paso, Texas (April 29, 2013) The El Paso Zoo is proud to announce that it was granted accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Jim Maddy, President and CEO of AZA, will be presenting Mayor John Cook with the accreditation plaque during the City Council meeting on April 30, 2013.

"This is another great milestone for the El Paso Zoo. I believe it is an affirmation by this accrediting body that the zoo is serving our community well by meeting or exceeding the highest standards of animal care, delivering a valued family experience, and providing an important educational resource," said Zoo Director Steve Marshall.

To receive the accreditation, the Zoo underwent a thorough review that includes a detailed accreditation application as well as a multiple day on-site inspection by a team of experts from around the country. The inspection evaluates the Zoo to ensure it meets AZA’s standards for animal management and care, including loving environments, social groupings, health and nutrition as well as enrichment. Additionally, the Accreditation Commission also evaluates the veterinary program, involvement in conservation and research, education programs, safety policies and procedures, security, physical facilities, guest services, the quality of the institution's staff, the institution's finances, its governing authority, and its support organization.

The El Paso Zoo must keep up with AZA's standards and evolving changes to remain accredited and will go through the entire accreditation process in five years.

Locally recognized as the Best Place to Take the Kiddos, the El Paso Zoo sits on 35 acres of fun and adventure. Bigger and better than ever, the El Paso Zoo is an expansive green space that is home to exotic animals from around the world and features family attractions such as the African Star train and the Hunt Family Desert Spring. Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the El Paso Zoo celebrates the value of animals and natural resources and creates opportunities for people to rediscover their connection to nature. For more information, visit elpasozoo.org. For news and exclusive content, follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/elpasozoo) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/user/theelpasozoo).
The El Paso Zoo has launched a mobile application (app) designed to help people make the right choice when shopping for groceries and personal care products. Palm oil production is killing orangutans, elephants and other endangered animals around the world as their tropical rainforest habitat is destroyed by expanding palm oil plantations, the largest cause of deforestation in Indonesia and other equatorial countries.