According to WQAD, Niabi Zoo has been awarded membership with the Zoological Association of America (ZAA) after 8 years without any accreditation.

The zoo lost its accreditation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) back in 2012 following concerns about safety and staffing issues. Niabi was also denied accreditation by the same organization last year.

However, the ZAA (Zoological Association of America) believes Niabi is worthy of the membership. The zoo now operates an on-site animal hospital with full-time vet techs.

“ZAA (Zoological Association of America) accreditation establishes an extremely high bar with respect to professional standards and modern animal management practices” said Zoo Director Lee Jackson. “We look forward to working with this exceptional organization as we continue to grow and improve."

In order to maintain accreditation with the ZAA (Zoological Association of America), Niabi must undergo an application and review process every five years.

This includes a multi-day inspection by a team of animal care and management professionals. Inspectors look for animal welfare, veterinary care, nutrition, enrichment, security, safety, facility maintenance, record keeping and a thorough review of policies.

Niabi will also continue to pursue additional accreditation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).