Loveland Living Planet Aquarium Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Draper, UT (April 23, 2019) – Loveland Living Planet Aquarium (LLPA) in Draper, UT is pleased to announce receiving accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) on Monday, April 15. The AZA accredits only zoos and aquariums who meet the highest standards of animal care and conservation.
AZA accreditation is a highly detailed and thorough process. LLPA prepared a written application, followed by a three-day on-site inspection from the AZA Accreditation Commission. The team evaluated everything from guest experience to behind-the-scenes areas, animal habitats and welfare, as well as education and conservation programs, and safety policies.
“Less than 10 percent of animal exhibitors registered with USDA have achieved AZA-accreditation, so Loveland Living Planet Aquarium is truly a leader in the profession,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “AZA-accreditation signifies Loveland Living Planet Aquarium’s active role in protecting our world’s wild animals and wild places while providing exemplary animal care and meaningful guest experiences.”
“We are thrilled to earn AZA-accreditation and join the list of the best zoos and aquariums around the country,” said Brent Andersen, LLPA Founder and CEO. “We are doing great work at LLPA, and accreditation aligns with our goals and values. This will help us to further our mission, increase our conservation efforts, strengthen partnerships around the US, and continue to provide enriching and memorable experiences for our guests.”
This is the first time LLPA applied for AZA accreditation. The Aquarium joins the Hogle Zoo and Tracy Aviary as AZA accredited institutions in Utah. Fewer than 10 percent of zoos and aquariums licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture are AZA accredited.
Some of the comments AZA inspectors shared with us were:
- “The Aquarium’s education outreach program visits every public school in the state of Utah every year, and visits every 4th grade class annually. These programs are provided at no charge. This is a remarkable and exemplary program.”
- “The team was impressed by the professionalism, passion, and dedication exhibited by the entire Aquarium team. Staff at all levels have a strong connection to the institution and its mission and feel that they contribute and make a difference.”
- “The botanical collection presented in and around live animal exhibits is voluminous, well-maintained, and creates naturalistic exhibits for terrestrial, aquatic, and semi-aquatic species.”
- “The facility is well maintained, clean, and presents well to the public. This was true not only on the public side, but also in behind the scenes areas.”
AZA accreditation is valid for five years and then the accreditation process is repeated to ensure all standards and best practices are being upheld. Accreditation standards are updated every year.
LLPA recently celebrated five years in Draper. We are among the top ten largest aquariums in the nation at nearly 150,000 square feet. LLPA features more than 4,000 animals from six unique habitats, including a four-story South American rainforest, the deep sea, Utah, and Asia.
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.
About Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
LLPA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that inspires people to Explore, Discover, and Learn about Earth’s diverse ecosystems. A world-class facility, LLPA provides learning opportunities at all levels, interests, and ages. Since opening in Draper in March 2014, the Aquarium has welcomed 4.5 million visitors. Additionally, LLPA reaches more than 160,000 Utah students each year through its Outreach and Field Trip Education programs.