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AZA Journey

Follow our journey to Association of Zoos and Aquariums accreditation

We are excited to announce our enrollment in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums “Pathway Toward Membership” program. Entry into the program is the first step for us to seek accreditation by one of the world’s premier zoological accrediting body, AZA.

AZA accreditation is a rigorous process involving a lengthy application, an on-site inspection and an accreditation hearing. AZA accreditation is the highest standard for animal welfare and management, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. It is a monumental endeavor and only about 10 percent of zoos and aquariums make it to this level. The accreditation process can take years.


“Every journey is a story worth sharing,” says Jon Whitehead, Director of Development. ”We want to invite the entire community along for the ride and share the triumphs and challenges along the way. AZA accreditation is the gold standard and we hope it can help us amplify our mission and help us motivate people to personally engage in protecting our planet.”

We are currently paired with an experienced coach, Rich Toth from the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, who is dedicated to providing advice and counsel along our journey. While collaborating with Toth and AZA staff,  we are working toward meeting or exceeding the requirements of reaching the highest standards of excellence in the zoo and aquarium profession.


“The professionals at the Shreveport Aquarium are working hard to secure AZA accreditation, and they are well on their way,” said Dan Ashe, President and CEO of AZA. “From their paddlefish rearing and release program, to jellyfish and coral propagation, to educating the Shreveport community on plastic free efforts and planting pollinator gardens, Shreveport Aquarium is making a difference in its community, which is a hallmark of AZA-accredited facilities.”


About the Association of Zoos & 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


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