Atlantis Marine Division Celebrates Third Straight Accreditation from the AZA

Association of Zoos and Aquariums impressed by staff and facilities

Dan Ashe, CEO of the Association of Aquariums and Zoos (AZA) presents the accreditation plaque for a third straight time to Atlantis, Paradise Island. Accepting was Ted Turner, VP of Dolphin Cay Operations (left) and Michelle Liu-Williamson, VP of Water Features and Water Park Operations (right). Photo by Ashley Roberts.
Dan Ashe, CEO of the Association of Aquariums and Zoos (AZA) presents the accreditation plaque for a third straight time to Atlantis, Paradise Island. Accepting was Ted Turner, VP of Dolphin Cay Operations (left) and Michelle Liu-Williamson, VP of Water Features and Water Park Operations (right). Photo by Ashley Roberts.

PARADISE ISLAND June 29TH, 2017: At a recent joint staff celebration, officials from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) joined in with Atlantis Executives in an informal presentation of a plaque signifying accreditation by the organization.

Just a few months ago, a team from the AZA came to Atlantis to make sure the organization’s exacting standards for animal management and care including living environments, social groupings, health, enrichment, and nutrition were met.

This group also evaluated the veterinary program, involvement in conservation and research, education programs, safety policies, facilities, guest services, and the quality of the Atlantis team.

Atlantis COO Audrey Oswell commented that to prepare for this inspection associates worked tirelessly for over a year to ensure that facilities and standard operating procedures were the best in the business.

“For the third time in a row, our facility was accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums,” said Oswell. This is a great honour. Only ten percent of zoological facilities in North America meet the rigorous standards to become a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.”

AZA CEO Dan Ashe said, “We accredit 231 of the elite zoological institutions in the world and only those can meet the exacting standards that are set by the AZA. Something like this, that happens at Atlantis cannot happen without the commitment of professionals,” said Ashe.

“We are proud to have you as a member of the AZA and we’re proud of you for what you have done achieving your accreditation for the third time.”

Members of the Marine and Water Park Division and Dolphin Cay celebrate together Atlantis’ third consecutive accreditation by the Association of Aquariums and Zoos (AZA). Photo by Ashley Roberts.
Members of the Marine and Water Park Division and Dolphin Cay celebrate together Atlantis’ third consecutive accreditation by the Association of Aquariums and Zoos (AZA). Photo by Ashley Roberts.

 The high points of the AZA Accreditation report included praise for Atlantis staff who are enthusiastic, dedicated, and passionate about their work.  They support their leadership team and are excited about recent changes in management.  This is evidenced by the long tenure of staff (average is 10 years) and positive comments received throughout the inspection.

All animal support areas and mechanical rooms were in excellent condition and among the best the inspection team has seen.

Excellent customer service was displayed at every level.

Interactive guest programs are well developed, and include conservation messages while providing the best care and welfare for the animals.

Animal collection is well-cared for and provides an excellent example of regional diversity.

Exhibits allow for viewing animals in naturalistic habitats unmatched by any aquarium in North America.

Conservation is an integral part of the mission and culture of Atlantis.  Noteworthy achievements include the Atlantis Blue Project Foundation, which has provided over $5 million in conservation funding over the past decade.

 

About the AZA

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. AZA represents more than 230 institutions in the United States and overseas, which collectively draw more than 183 million visitors every year. These institutions meet the highest standards in animal care and provide a fun, safe, and educational family experience. In addition, they dedicate millions of dollars to support scientific research, conservation, and education programs.

Leaders in Animal Care and Welfare 

AZA is the independent accrediting organization for the best zoos and aquariums in America and the world, assuring the public that when they visit an AZA-accredited facility, it meets the highest standards. Less than 10 percent of the 2,800 wildlife exhibitors licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture under the Animal Welfare Act meet the more comprehensive standards of AZA accreditation. The highly trained professionals at AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums provide excellent care for more than 800,000 animals, making them the leading experts in care and animal welfare.