Skip main navigation

Saturday, June 22: Stone Zoo will close at 3pm (last tickets sold at 2pm) in preparation for our event, A Wild Affair. Please plan your visit accordingly!

Close menu

Zoo New England’s Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo Earn Meritorious AZA Accreditation

AZAThe Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) has announced that Zoo New England’s Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo were each independently granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.

“Only the very best aquariums and zoos can meet AZA’s accreditation standards for animal care and welfare, conservation, education, and more, which are the most rigorous in the profession,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “By achieving AZA accreditation, Zoo New England’s Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo demonstrate a commitment to protecting animals around the world and inspiring their guests to do the same.”

To be accredited, both Zoos underwent a thorough review to make certain they have and will continue to meet ever-rising standards in categories which include animal care and welfare, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years in order to be members of the Association. 

The accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspecting team observes all aspects of the facility’s operation, including animal care and welfare; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; visitor services; and more. Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal hearing of AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission, after which accreditation is granted, tabled, or denied. Any facility that is denied may reapply one year after the Commission’s decision is made.

“We are committed to the highest standards of animal care and educating and inspiring people of all ages to take an active role in ensuring that our planet remains healthy and thriving for generations to come,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO. “We are proud that both Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.”

The AZA inspection team mentioned as particular strengths the leadership and local conservation work with Zoo New England’s Grassroots Wildlife Conservation, the One Health Clinical Elective program in partnership with Harvard Medical School, the Zoos’ professional development and staff participation opportunities in field conservation, the 5th Quarter of Learning program co-managed by Boston Public Schools and Boston After School and Beyond, Nature’s Neighborhoods – the George Robert White Fund Children’s Zoo at Franklin Park Zoo, and the addition of the new Welcome Plaza, Caribbean Coast and a number of valuable guest enhancements at Stone Zoo.

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 eleven 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