Photo of Sumatran tiger Leela in 2023

The Louisville Zoo Earns Prestigious Accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) (Media Release)

Contact:  Kyle Shepherd
(O) 502-238-5331 (C) 502-744-5639  

The Louisville Zoo is proud to announce that it has been granted accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), reaffirming its commitment to the highest standards of animal care, conservation and education. The accreditation was awarded during AZA’s Mid-Year Meeting held in Memphis, TN., where the Louisville Zoo was among the 28 facilities to receive this prestigious recognition.

AZA accreditation represents the “gold standard” in the zoological and aquarium profession, ensuring that accredited facilities meet and exceed rigorous standards in animal welfare, veterinary care, conservation efforts, scientific advancement, safety and security. Dan Ashe, AZA’s president and chief executive officer, congratulated Louisville Zoo staff for achieving this esteemed recognition, emphasizing the dedication to excellence exhibited by the facility.

“Receiving accreditation is a rigorous process and is never a guarantee,” said Dan Maloney, Louisville Zoo Director. “It is proof positive that we are dedicated to the highest standards in animal care, ethics, conservation and education. I am extremely proud of our staff and delighted to share in my first accreditation process here at the Louisville Zoo.”

The accreditation process involves a comprehensive evaluation, including a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection conducted by an independent team of zoological professionals. Every aspect of the facility’s operation is thoroughly assessed, including animal welfare, veterinary care, staff training, safety protocols, educational programs, conservation initiatives, financial stability, risk management, governance and guest services.

“Through this thorough review process, AZA ensures that accredited facilities continuously meet and exceed ever-rising standards,” added Maloney. “This accreditation is not only a recognition of our past achievements but also a commitment to maintaining excellence in the future.”

As a condition of association membership, AZA-accredited facilities must undergo this rigorous accreditation process every five years to maintain their status. With accreditation, the public can trust that the animals at the Louisville Zoo receive the highest level of care and wellbeing, with a steadfast commitment to their conservation in the wild.

There are 236 AZA-accredited institutions and 15 AZA-accredited related facility members throughout the U.S. and 12 other countries. For a complete list of accredited AZA facilities, please visit


About The Louisville Zoo
The Louisville Zoo, the State Zoo of Kentucky, is the top, non-profit, paid attraction in the state. The Zoo is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

About AZA
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and 12 other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit