SANTA ANA – Zoo director Kent Yamaguchi insists the institution remains committed to saving its animals from extinction, despite losing its accreditation earlier this year and recently having its appeal of that ruling denied.
“What we do and who we are is the same,” said Yamaguchi, who said he was not surprised the Association of Zoos & Aquariums denied the appeal in June. “I knew that the standards the AZA holds are very high. It may not be what the AZA is looking for, but we know that we’re caring for our animals and we’re doing a good job with it.”
The national association’s independent accreditation commission in the spring reviewed applications from 20 zoos and aquariums – up for re-accreditation every five years – and denied only the Santa Ana Zoo, according to a press release issued by the AZA in July.
A confidential letter from the association to the zoo in April denied Santa Ana Zoo’s accreditation on the grounds, “monkey habitats outdated and not consistent with modern zoological practices,” Yamaguchi said.
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