The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee awarded Gold-Standard Zoological Accreditation by AZA

The Elephant Sanctuary is happy to announce its recognition as an Accredited Related Facility by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

“Every year, AZA sends over 200 accreditation inspectors around the world to review 60 to 70 applications for AZA accreditation,” said Dan Ashe, president and CEO of AZA. “AZA’s standards are continuously revised to reflect cutting-edge zoological practices based on the latest animal wellbeing science and research. The ability to earn AZA accreditation is a significant accomplishment not many achieve and is a testament to these facilities’ dedication to the animals in their care.”

To become accredited, The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee submitted a detailed application and underwent a thorough investigation and on-site inspection by a team of AZA officials to make certain it has and will continue to meet ever-rising standards, which include animal care and welfare, veterinary programs, conservation, and safety. The inspecting team observed all aspects of the institution’s operation and animal care. Final approval of accreditation was granted after a formal meeting of the AZA’s accreditation commission. AZA requires Accredited Related Facilities to successfully complete this rigorous review and inspection every five years in order to be members of the Association.

In addition to not being open to the public, “Related Facilities” seeking accreditation typically have slight differences in mission and scope from zoological parks or aquariums. 

Through accreditation by the AZA, The Elephant Sanctuary hopes for expanded conversation and collaboration opportunities with other elephant care professionals to promote and share best practices on issues of conservation and welfare impacting all elephants.

There are currently 237 AZA-accredited facilities 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 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

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