Paramus – Two mountain lion cubs arrived at the Bergen County Zoo as the facility celebrated its recent accreditation from The Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ independent Accreditation Commission. 

The two mountain lion cubs – which are brothers – were attained from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in late September but will not be on display for public viewing until spring when they are old enough to safely climb well.

“We are so excited to welcome these two brother mountain lion cubs to the Bergen County Zoo,” Tedesco said. “And we’re excited that our zoo received accreditation from the prestigious Association of Zoos & Aquariums. We are committed to making the Bergen County Zoo the best possible zoo it can be, and that goal is being accomplished thanks to our wonderful and talented staff.”

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“Only the very best zoos and aquariums can meet the ‘gold standards’ set for accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “By achieving AZA-accreditation, the Bergen County Zoo demonstrates that it is committed to exemplary animal care and welfare, educational and inspiring guest experiences, and AZA’s mission to conserve our world’s wild animals and wild places.”

To be accredited, the Bergen County Zoo underwent a thorough review to make certain it has 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 institution’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 institution that is denied may reapply one year after the Commission’s decision is made.

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 eight 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.