|March 23, 2011 - Knoxville Zoo has again been granted accreditation by the Association of Zoos and
Aquariums (AZA), marking the sixth time the zoo has been accredited since 1985. Fewer than 10 percent of the
approximately 2,400 animal exhibitors licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have
been granted accreditation by the AZA.
"Not all zoos and aquariums are the same. Knoxville Zoo is one of the best in the world because it has met the
highest standards in the world," said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. "It takes hard work and dedication to
meet Association of Zoos and Aquariums Accreditation Standards."
AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete a rigorous accreditation process every five years in
order to be members of the Association. The accreditation process involves a detailed application and thorough
on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo professionals. The inspecting team observes all aspects of the
institution's operation, including animal care, keeper training, safety for visitors, staff and animals, educational
programs, conservation efforts, veterinary programs, financial stability, risk management and visitor services.
After completing an exhaustive inspection of a facility, top zoo officials are interviewed at a formal Commission
hearing before the decision is made to grant accreditation.
"I'm proud Knoxville Zoo has again been recognized as one of the top institutions in the country, and I'm
especially proud of the outstanding team of people who dedicate themselves to making Knoxville's zoo one of
the best there is," says Jim Vlna, executive director of Knoxville Zoo.
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the
advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the
AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting an institution
dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living
things. AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats.
For more information, please visit www.aza.org.
Knoxville Zoo is Knoxville's largest year-round attraction. Located off exit 392A from Interstate 40, the zoo is
open every day except Christmas Day. Knoxville Zoo is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and
Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation,
and education. Currently, the zoo is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and from 9:30
a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes. Nextday
admission is free after 3 p.m. For more information, please call 865-637-5331 ext. 300 or visit