Rachel Suga - WDEL
Improvements are expected in the future at the Brandywine Zoo after receiving a renewed national accreditation.
The zoo received the nod from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which can impact grants and funding.
The AZA has set a national standard for zoos and aquariums to follow for the last 40 years. The Brandywine Zoo has renewed their AZA accreditation by upholding the standards that are expected, while also adding new or improved features to the zoo.
Future plans include not only improving the quality of life for their animals, but also the guest experience as it works towards its mission of being a conservation institution.
“We are proud of our Brandywine Zoo, a gem in the heart of Wilmington, and all it offers to the local community and those who travel to see the exotic and endangered animals,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin.
Recent new habitats to hit the zoo's scene include black and white ruffed, ring-tailed and crowned lemurs, the second smallest dear-- the southern pudu, the "friendly" Nigerian dwarf goat, African pygmy and Angora, and an Andean condor viewing area that provides close-up encounters with one of the world’s largest flying birds.
Guests can have a better experience as more ADA accessibility, behind the scenes experiences, and public-area facility updates will be made. An improved Honey Bee Display with interactive and attractive play elements, graphics and oversized metal flowers will also be available as an improved guest experience opportunity.
“The public expectations for animal care are constantly increasing, as are our own, which is why AZA’s accreditation standards are focused on providing the best animal care possible,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “Our rigorous accreditation standards evolve based on modern animal research, ensuring a process the public can trust. We applaud and admire these exceptional zoos, aquariums and related facilities on meeting the ‘gold standard’ for a modern zoological facility.”
The Brandywine Zoo has passed the AZA review process, which includes standards for animal welfare and well-being, veterinary care, keeper training, safety for visitors, staff, and animals, educational programs, conservation efforts, financial stability, risk management, governance, and guest services.