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AZA and private zoos

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Davdhole, 6 Apr 2020.

  1. Davdhole

    Davdhole Active Member

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    I decided to look into what zoos are accredited by the AZA, and they don't seem to have any privately-owned zoos. I was surprised to know that even zoos like Perth and Taronga aren't accredited by them, but rather the ZAA, but I do know Perth and Taronga aren't privately owned as far as I can tell. (No, I don't live in Australia, nor have I been, but I just have seen pics and heard about these zoos and they seem great). What shocked me the most was that Australia Zoo isn't accredited by the AZA. Other zoos that seem good but aren't a part of the AZA include Wildlife World Zoo, Bearizona, and probably more, but I didn't research all of them. I know there's another Australian one, National Zoo and Aquarium, that also isn't accredited by the AZA. Unless there's some zoos I missed, it doesn't seem that the AZA likes privately-owned zoos. What's the reason for this?
     
  2. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    You listed all Australian zoos as examples of privately-owned zoos the AZA doesn't accredit, but does the AZA accredit any Australian zoos? To my knowledge there are very, very few non-North American zoos with an AZA accreditation. I don't think there are even any European zoos which are accredited.

    Meanwhile, Wildlife World is privately-owned and was accredited for some time. However, it is not currently accredited because it's a pretty awful zoo (as is Bearizona afaik).

    ~Thylo
     
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  3. Penshet

    Penshet Well-Known Member

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    I think the confusion is that there are in fact two ZAA's: the Zoological Association of America, which is the counterpart to the AZA.
    The other one, Zoo & Aquarium Association Australasia, is an organization encompassing many Australian and NZ zoos.
     
  4. Echobeast

    Echobeast Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I know for sure there are a few privately owned zoos that are accredited by the AZA. For example I believe Dallas World Aquarium is privately owned and accredited by the AZA and is a member of WAZA. Cheyenne Mountain is owned by their zoological society so they are considered privately owned. Both Downtown Aquarium locations are AZA but they are owned by Landry’s Seafood. There are plenty more.

    I think you may be caught up with what we usually think of when we say privately owned zoo. Any zoo that isn’t owned by a government is considered privately owned. Even some zoos that get tax support aren’t owned by their government so they are considered privately owned. The AZA doesn’t “dislike” private zoos. They hold every member to the same standards. Most private zoos cannot reach those standards mostly due to financial reasons (AZA has standards on finances like where they get money or how much money a zoo has in reserves in case things go badly like they are currently). When a zoo gets government support they usually have the finances to become AZA accredited where a private zoo usually does not have the funds. Because of this, most AZA zoos are supported by the government or private owners with a lot of cash.
     
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  5. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Post number 3 answers the dilemma. You are confusing Australian zoo associations with North American zoo associations. (And for the record Wildlife World, here in Arizona, was AZA accredited for many years but lost their accreditation because IMO they have too many awful cages. I have been several times but refuse to return due to their low standards of animal care).
     
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  6. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    -There's a bunch of AZA zoos that are owned by zoological associations, along with a few owned by individuals (most notably Dallas World Aquarium, as Echobeast mentioned).
    -AZA is American Association of Zoos and Aquariums, I'm not sure why you think Aussie zoos would be accredited with them? There's a few outside north america, I think 7? Mostly large aquariums. Other countries/continents have their own governing bodies.
    -I'm not sure why you're most shocked by Australia Zoo, they aren't that great and likely wouldn't want AZA telling them what to do, anyway.
    -Some zoos don't want to be a member of AZA for various reasons - being told what to do with their animals, having to devote a certain amount of money to conservation and participate in SSPs, and so on. Both zoos you mentioned have exhibits that likely wouldn't meet standards. There are several large zoos that used to be accredited but lost theirs and wouldn't meet standards now. Off the top of my head, I can't think of anywhere that would meet all requirements but isn't accredited.
     
  7. MRJ

    MRJ Well-Known Member

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    As has been pointed out above the Australasian ZAA is not connected to the American ZAA. Indeed the Australasian ZAA is an "equal partner" as a regional association of zoos with the AZA as well as several other associations, including for instance EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquariums). The Australian zoos you mention above are accredited with the ZAA (Australasia). In fact the Singapore Nature Parks (SIngapore Zoo, Night Safari, Jerong etc) joined the ZAA (Australasia) so they could have access to a robust and internationally recognised accreditation scheme.

    The name does cause some confusion and when it was proposed to change the name from ARAZPA (Australasian Regional Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums) I opposed ZAA for that reason. I can recall at least one occasion when an employee of an American zoo looked down her nose at me when I said we were accredited by the ZAA.

    There does seem to be a little bit of confusion above between the National Zoo and Aquarium and Australia Zoo. Both are similar in that they are both privately owned and both have, from an international perspective, fairly small collections. The only thing really "national" about the National Zoo is that it is located in Australia's capital, Canberra.
     
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  8. lintworm

    lintworm Well-Known Member

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    Interesting as Singapore in recent years is also becoming more and more integrated with EAZA when it comes to breeding programmes.
     
  9. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    One of the other aquariums in Singapore is AZA accredited.

    ~Thylo
     
  10. elefante

    elefante Well-Known Member

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    Am I the only one who us going to point out the irony of a seafood company owning an aquarium?
     
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  11. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    They're not actually a seafood company, their name is just Landry's, or Landry's Dining, Hospitality, Entertainment, and Gaming. Some of their most well-known establishments are seafood restaurants (Atlantic Grill, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Blue Fin, Joe's Crab Shack, etc.) but they also own the Golden Nugget chain of casinos, some hotels, Galveston Island Pier, Rainforest Cafe, and a bunch of others. Their aquariums are also large restaurants that people can go to without visiting the actual aquarium.
     
  12. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Well-Known Member

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    SEA Aquarium in Singapore do special evening events with pop-up seafood fine dining.
     
  13. Echobeast

    Echobeast Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The irony has been noticed before lol. I could get into the many issues there are with Landry’s and the conflicts they have with general conservation that most AZA facilities take for granted (palm oil, Seafood Watch, etc) but that’s a discussion for another thread.
     
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