Calgary Zoo accreditation renewed

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums has renewed the accreditation of the Calgary Zoo, despite the flood damage to the facility.

International body says zoo still meets standards despite flood damage

The popular Penguin Plunge exhibit at the Calgary Zoo. (Brooks DeCillia/CBC)

The badly flood-damaged Calgary Zoo has received a vote of confidence from an international body.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has granted the zoo accreditation. The accreditation must be renewed every five years.

"There is no doubt that the Calgary Zoo is a leader in the care and conservation of wildlife and in educating people about the natural world," said AZA president and CEO Jim Maddy.

During the accreditation process, the Calgary Zoo underwent a thorough review of its animal care as well as its veterinary, conservation, education and safety programs. 

The accreditation was granted despite the extensive damage to the zoo as a result of the June floods.

The zoo's manager of communications, Laurie Skene, said the accreditation inspection took place one week prior to the floods and the zoo's reaction to the disaster was also noted by the accreditation commission.

"The evacuation of the 160 animals in such a short time spoke volumes about the preparation and plans and the professionalism of the staff," said Skene.

The Calgary Zoo is one of four facilities in Canada with AZA accreditation. The others are the Vancouver Aquarium, the Granby Zoo and Montreal's Biodome.