Niabi Granted Accreditation
A national organization gives the Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley high marks for safety, animal welfare, education, and animal conservation.
Zoo Director Lee Jackson says this week, the Zoological Association of America granted accreditation following a lengthy application and site visit last year.
"It's a big deal for us because all institutions like this are connected in some way, so when-ever we can play a role in the bigger animal care community that's always good for us, for our animals, and for our visitors."
One of the benefits of accreditation is it allows participation in cooperative breeding programs with other zoos, that now includes fennic foxes, snow leopards, some reptiles, and other animals at Niabi.
Last year, the zoo was turned down for accreditation by another national organization, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums - Jackson says it approved of Niabi's efforts in education and safety, but said it still had some work to do to bring its exhibits up to modern standards.
Opening day for this season is just about one month away - on April 11th.