WXXI AM News

Seneca Park Zoo honored again by national group

Oct 5, 2018

The Seneca Park Zoo has again earned what Monroe County officials called a “prestigious” honor from a national group.

Monroe County's Seneca Park Zoo has earned a national accreditation.
Credit Marie Kraus / Seneca Park Zoo

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums recognized the zoo as a “world-class” institution with “the highest-quality animal care.”

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said the process for gaining accreditation is rigorous. It involves a 31-page questionnaire, an inspection by zoo association officials and an interview with the association’s experts.

“I wouldn’t say that we were intimidated,” Dinolfo said. “We were welcoming the opportunity to sit down, because I know and I’m confident that what we’re doing at the zoo is translating into more visitors coming to the zoo.”

Dinolfo said the zoo has carried this accreditation since 1979. It needs to be renewed every five years.

The zoo association says it looks for good animal care, keeper training, safety protocol and conservation efforts. Less than 10 percent of animal exhibitors approved by the federal government also meet the AZA’s more stringent requirements.

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo, left, and Seneca Park Zoo Director Larry Staub hold a certificate from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Credit Monroe County

Dinolfo said accreditation is important for the Seneca Park Zoo’s ability to work with other wildlife and conservation groups around the country.

“Other zoos want to partner with zoos who have accredited status, because that’s the gold standard.” Dinolfo said. “They have the highest level of care for animals.”