WAZA welcomes Columbus Zoo


The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is pleased to welcome the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium as an institution member to the global zoo and aquarium community.

WAZA is the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, dedicated to the care and conservation of animals and their habitats around the world. With 400 members across the world, WAZA promotes cooperation between leading zoos, aquariums, national and regional associations, as well as with leading wildlife experts, academies, and universities. WAZA’s unique role as the one global association of zoos and aquariums is to convene the different regions, set global frameworks for the profession, and be the global voice in conservation and animal welfare.

Since 2023, WAZA has been working toward the achievement of its new vision to be a globally recognized and trusted leader advancing conservation and animal welfare. To this end, WAZA has been working toward implementing the WAZA 2023 Animal Welfare Goal, which aims to establish a global benchmark for the animal welfare evaluation processes utilized by regional and national zoo and aquarium associations worldwide.

WAZA also works closely with the IUCN Species Survival Commission and Reverse the Red to highlight the role of zoos and aquariums in halting biodiversity decline.

While first holding membership from 1996-2021, the Columbus Zoo is recognized by the association for its impact on protecting species across the globe.

“We are very pleased to welcome back Columbus Zoo and Aquarium to the WAZA community. With the crucial international collaborative work that they are doing for Asian elephants through the newly established Centre for Species Survival in India, as well as other species across the world, I am confident that our members will find opportunities to connect and share expertise,” said WAZA CEO Dr. Martín Zordan.

“We are proud to be an institution member of WAZA. Wildlife conservation is at the core of our work, and at the Columbus Zoo, we believe in the profound importance of collaborating with partners from around the world to create a lasting, positive impact on the future of wildlife. Through these global alliances, we remain committed to leading efforts that bring experts together, address challenges facing wildlife, and build collaborative strategies to benefit wildlife and empower communities,” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President and CEO Tom Schmid.

The Columbus Zoo welcomes nearly 2 million guests every year. For more than 95 years, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has evolved to become a cornerstone of the community and a destination inspiring the awareness, appreciation, and conservation of many of the earth’s most amazing animals.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s wellbeing program also defines and applies proactive animal welfare processes and tools to continually evaluate the wellbeing of the animals, advance the science and best practices of animal wellbeing, and increase the level of their staff and volunteers’ understanding of animal wellbeing science and best practices.

As part of its conservation strategy, the Columbus Zoo’s team of experts also focus on worldwide threatened species recovery, habitat restoration, and human-wildlife coexistence to make a positive impact on wildlife locally, regionally, and at national and international levels. The zoo also works with federal and state agencies, other zoos and aquariums, communities, universities, and other partners worldwide to recover threatened species, restore habitats, and — as part of Columbus Zoo’s mission — empower people to save wildlife.

In addition to being a member of WAZA, the Columbus Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Zoological Association of America (ZAA), the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums (AMMPA), and certified by American Humane.

For updates about the Columbus Zoo’s conservation impact, events, educational programs, and more, be sure to follow the Zoo’s social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, X, and TikTok, and visit the zoo at ColumbusZoo.org.

Submitted by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

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