We are AZA-accredited –again!

In case you haven’t heard the big news, your zoo has once again been accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums! This is a very important achievement, as it means that we remain one of only 232 facilities to be approved as a top-tier institution by AZA.

This seal of approval lets our guests, members and donors know that they are directly supporting a zoo that provides the highest standards of animal care and is actively engaged in wildlife conservation, both locally and globally.

As AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe put it, AZA accreditation is “the gold standard within the zoological profession.”

“By achieving accreditation, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo demonstrates a commitment to protecting animals around the world and inspiring their guests to do the same,” Dan said.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo has been continuously accredited since 1987 through a rigorous process that we go through every five years. This year’s cycle began over 8 months ago, when we submitted records to AZA on everything from animal care and welfare; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; and visitor services.

Then we underwent a three-day inspection by a team of AZA professionals who examined our facility from top to bottom. We also attended an in-person hearing at the recent AZA National Conference in Seattle, where we learned that we are once again accredited through 2023.

I’d like to thank you for your support in making this happen. Every visit you make to the zoo, every purchase from the gift shop or café, every donation you make to one of our fundraisers directly supports wildlife conservation. I’m thrilled to say “We are AZA,” and we couldn’t have done it without you!

My Best,

Janet Agostini
President + CEO
Friends of the Zoo

Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums

Animal Enrichment Day

Asian Elephant Siri Enrichment at Syracuse Zoo

Enrichment is an important part of animal welfare, keeping animals in human care mentally and physicall stimulated on a daily basis. Enrichment means giving animals the opportunities and the tools to stimulate their natural behaviors and keep them engaged.

In celebration of National Zoo Keeper Week, our keepers have designated Friday, July 20, 2018 as Enrichment Day, a day when we celebrate all the ways that enrichment and training positively impact our animals’ lives.

Activities will include foraging stations where guests can try to find hidden treats, enrichment stations displaying some of the objects we give to our animals and opportunities to help make enrichment items. Look for our table where you can donate an enrichment item or a monetary contribution to enrichment to be entered in a raffle for a piece of animal art.

Donate to our Enrichment Wish List and BE ENTERED TO WIN a painting by one of our animals!

Enrichment Wish List — New, unused items only, please!

  • Suet feeders — all sizes
  • Slow feeder dog dishes
  • Scents and seasongs, eg. peppermint, almond, vanilla, cat nip, cinnamon, basil.
  • Exo Terra rock dishes — all sizes (PetSmart or Petco)
  • Exo Terra log hides — all sizes (PetSmart or Petco)
  • Boomer Balls (boomerball.com)
  • Gift cards to PetSmart, Petco, Amazon, Wegmans, Home Depot, Lowes, etc.
  • Kongs — all sizes
  • Bird/parrot toys

Food items:

  • Cereal — low sugar such as Cheerios, Rice Chex, Quaker Oatmeal Squares, etc.
  • Unsalted nuts (only in a sealed container, no bulk items please)
  • All natural nut butters
  • Low or no sugar applesauce or fruit cups (no syrup)
  • Dried fruit (sealed, no bulk please)
  • Canned corn
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Canned tuna
  • Chicken or beef broth
  • Nutella
  • Popcorn (non-microwave)
  • Baby food
  • Jelly
  • Honey
  • Low sugar juice (all natural)