Wheaton's Cosley Zoo maintains accreditation

  • Cosley Zoo has retained accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

    Cosley Zoo has retained accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Daily Herald file photo

Daily Herald report
Updated 11/30/2021 6:03 PM

Cosley Zoo in Wheaton has been reaccredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Cosley was first accredited in 2000 by the nonprofit association. The Wheaton Park District zoo has retained the seal of approval ever since.


Officials say zoos must meet rigorous standards every five years to maintain accreditation. The process includes on-site visits by a team of inspectors reviewing veterinary care, staff training, educational programs, conservation efforts, financial stability and other metrics.

Nationwide, less than 10% of the 2,800 wildlife exhibitors licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture meet the accreditation standards. Brookfield Zoo is another AZA-member institution.

The credentials also increase eligibility for funding and grants, according to the association.

"We strive to meet or exceed the highest standards in all areas of our operation and are pleased that those efforts have once again been recognized by the AZA's Accreditation Commission," Cosley Zoo Director Sue Wahlgren said in a statement. "Maintaining our AZA accreditation demonstrates our unwavering commitment to animal welfare, conservation, and education, placing Cosley Zoo in the top 10% of zoos and aquariums in the nation."

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