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Glowing review for BAMZ

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The Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo has again received international accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

There are currently only 224 institutions in the world accredited by the US-based non-profit organisation, which is considered the global standard that zoos and aquariums can reach.

Minister of Health, Seniors and the Environment Jeanne Atherden told the House of Assembly yesterday that while BAMZ has been accredited with the organisation since 1994, it recently had to go through a re-accreditation process.

In September 2013 last year, BAMZ submitted a 1,076 page report on the operations of the facility, as well as its supporting charity, the Bermuda Zoological Society (BZS).

This report included copies of organisation's policies, procedures, records, lists, and reports.

Two months later, three AZA Accreditation Inspectors spent four days at the facility, reviewing records and interviewing staff and management before they submitted an inspection report to the Accreditation Committee.

This April, Principal Curator Dr Ian Walker took part in a mandatory meeting of the Accreditation Committee in the US to support the BAMZ submission.

Subsequently the Commission voted unanimously to grant accreditation to the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo from 2014 to 2019.

Mrs Atherden said BAMZ received glowing reviews from the inspectors, who praised the new Madagascar exhibit, the museum library, the enthusiastic and professional staff and the free educational programmes offered.

“The BAMZ and BZS have recently completed a ten-year capital campaign goal which has seen the addition of the Madagascar exhibit, Animal Care Center, Veterinary Hospital, Azu Beastro Café, BZS's floating classroom RV Endurance and a host of other smaller improvements,” Mrs Atherden said. “All of this would not have been possible without the synergistic relationship between the BAMZ and the BZS and their private partners.

“Further enhancements are planned for this coming year with the most major project being the replacement of the Aquarium roof scheduled to begin in October.

“This much needed and technically challenging project will require the Aquarium to be closed for several months while works are completed.

“However, BAMZ and BZS staff are hard at work to update the interior of the aquarium hall during the closure so it will return with a refreshed look.”

She said the accreditation is not just another “external stamp of approval” for the facility, but will increase eligibility for international grants, allow for the transfer of animals between facilities and provide staff opportunities to learn from experts from some of the best zoos in the world.

Noting the recent Certificate of Excellence awarded by TripAdvisor, she added: “BAMZ is truly a community asset that is well utilised and for which we can all be justifiably proud.”

Photo by Nicola Muirhead Children try to interact with an otherwise imperious iguana at the Bermuda Zoological Society hosted open house at the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo on June 7 to celebrate World Oceans Day.
Photo by Mark Tatem The first of the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo's flamingo chicks of 2010 is shown with its mother.

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Published June 28, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated June 27, 2014 at 11:08 pm)

Glowing review for BAMZ

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