In September 2015, the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo was officially awarded accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Of the 2,800 institutions within the United States that exhibit animals, only 230 worldwide are accredited by the AZA. The opportunity to become accredited is only offered every five years and is a rigorous process. Since the zoo’s previous accreditation in 2010, guests have seen the zoo grow with the addition of a self-guided trail system, a children’s playground and a beautiful gibbon enclosure.
Kris Vehrs, Executive Director of the AZA, traveled to Gainesville on Wednesday, Dec. 2, to award the zoo with a plaque of accreditation. The ceremony was a momentous occasion where students, staff and supporters of the Zoo Animal Technology program could be recognized for exceeding the standards of animal care, conservation and education. This recognition maintains Santa Fe College’s distinction as the only Zoo Animal Technology Program with a dedicated accredited zoo in the nation.
The Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo is open every day from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. during the winter break, with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Bring the family and come celebrate this honor at your zoo!