Oakland Zoo Receives Esteemed Accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)

Oakland zoo
April 8, 2024

Oakland, CA April 8, 2024… The Oakland Zoo, managed by the Conservation Society of California (CSC), has received accreditation from the independent Accreditation Commission of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). In December, the Zoo underwent a thorough examination by leading experts, who determined that the Zoo has met the world's most rigorous standards for animal welfare, veterinary care, husbandry, safety, staffing, education, conservation, and more.

“Congratulations to the staff at Oakland Zoo for achieving the world’s ‘gold standard’ for the zoological profession. AZA’s accreditation standards continually evolve to reflect best practices in animal care and wellbeing, veterinary care, conservation, scientific advancement, and safety and security, among other things,” says Dan Ashe, President and CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The Zoo was first accredited by AZA in 1988, emphasizing its commitment to the wellbeing of all animals in its care, including its residents and rescues. As an accredited member of the Association, the Zoo is part of the largest conservation organization in the nation. 251 AZA-accredited zoos and aquarium institutions contribute over $160 million yearly to wildlife conservation.

“We take great pride in being an AZA-accredited facility. Being recognized at this high standard reinforces our commitment to animal wellbeing and conservation and is a testament to the unwavering dedication of our team at the Zoo”, says Nik Dehejia, CEO of Oakland Zoo.

The AZA accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous multiple-day on-site inspection by an independent team of zoological professionals. The inspecting team analyzes all aspects of the Oakland Zoo’s operation, including animal care and wellbeing, veterinary care, staff training, safety for visitors, staff, and animals, educational programs, conservation efforts, financial stability, risk management, governance, and guest services. Detailed reports from the inspection team and the facility alike are then thoroughly evaluated by the Commission. Finally, the Commission interviews top officials from Oakland Zoo at a formal hearing, after which accreditation is fully granted, provisionally granted for one year, or denied. The Zoo had its official hearing in March of this year.

AZA member institutions must repeat the entire accreditation process every five years to ensure that they uphold the continuously evolving standards, incorporate the best modern zoological practices in animal welfare and management, and embrace modern AZA philosophies.

To learn more about Oakland Zoo and the Conservation Society of California, visit: https://www.oaklandzoo.org/about-us.


Isabella Linares

Oakland Zoo





Oakland Zoo, home to more than 850 native and exotic animals, is managed by the Conservation Society of California (CSC); a non-profit organization leading an informed and inspired community in Taking Action for Wildlife locally and globally. With over 25 conservation partners and projects worldwide, the CSC is committed to conservation-based education and saving species and their habitats in the wild. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the national organization that sets the highest standards for animal welfare for zoos and aquariums.


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 www.aza.org.