Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden located in Evansville, Indiana recently achieved a remarkable milestone by securing accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). This prestigious recognition, often referred to as the "gold standard" in zoological facilities, was granted during the AZA National Conference held in Columbus, Ohio.

The AZA Accreditation Process

The path to AZA accreditation is not for the faint of heart. It involves a comprehensive application followed by an extensive on-site inspection conducted by an independent team of zoological experts. These professionals leave no stone unturned, meticulously assessing every facet of the facility's operations, including:

  1. Animal Welfare and Wellbeing: Ensuring the highest standards of care for the zoo's diverse range of animals.
  2. Veterinary Care: Evaluating the provision of medical care and well-being programs for the animals.
  3. Keeper Training: Assessing the knowledge and skills of the zoo's staff in animal care and husbandry.
  4. Safety: Ensuring the safety of visitors, staff, and animals within the facility.
  5. Educational Programs: Analyzing the zoo's efforts to educate the public about conservation and wildlife.
  6. Conservation Efforts: Reviewing the institution's contributions to wildlife conservation.
  7. Financial Stability: Assessing the financial health and sustainability of the facility.
  8. Risk Management: Identifying and mitigating potential risks associated with the zoo's operations.
  9. Governance: Examining the governance structure and decision-making processes.
  10. Guest Services: Ensuring an excellent visitor experience.
WDKS-FM logo
Get our free mobile app

A Proud Achievement for Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden

Erik Beck, the Zoo Director, expressed his immense pride in the entire team, emphasizing that this is a significant achievement that required unwavering dedication from every department. He conveyed his gratitude to the staff, volunteers, and supporters who played pivotal roles in this accomplishment.

Mayor Lloyd Winnecke of Evansville also acknowledged the city's unwavering support, stating that receiving this accreditation underscores the commitment and hard work of the Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden's staff. He also pointed out the record-breaking attendance at the zoo last year, highlighting its dedication to delivering an unforgettable experience for all visitors.

Alex Morgan Imaging
Alex Morgan Imaging

Sustaining Excellence Amid Evolving Standards

AZA's president and CEO, Dan Ashe, emphasized the dynamic nature of their standards. He noted that AZA's standards continuously evolve to reflect cutting-edge zoological practices based on the latest animal well-being science and research. This underscores the commitment of institutions like Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden to remain at the forefront of zoological excellence.

Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden's AZA accreditation stands as a testament to their unwavering commitment to animal welfare, education, and conservation. It is a recognition of their dedication to providing a top-tier experience for visitors and ensuring the zoo maintains a leading position in zoological excellence. As they continue to adapt to changing standards, the future looks promising for this cherished Evansville institution.

Visit Mesker Par Zoo & Botanic Garden for Yourself

Located at 1545 Mesker Park Drive in Evansville, Indiana, Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden has been a favorite for residents and visitors of the city alike. The facility is open 365 days a year and is a wonderful and affordable adventure. To learn more, visit

[Souce: Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden via Facebook]

5 Reasons to Visit Mesker Park Zoo in Evansville, Indiana

There is quite an adventure on the West Side of Evansville, Indiana. What kind of adventure - It's a zoo! Mesker Park Zoo & Botanical Gardens is open 365 days a year and offers family memberships.

More From WDKS-FM