AZA Grants Accreditation to SeaWorld parks in Orlando and San Diego and Discovery Cove

Silver Spring, Maryland (March 24, 2015) – The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) today announced that SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Diego and Discovery Cove have been granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.

“The Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredits only those zoological facilities that meet the highest standards,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “Of the animal facilities licensed in this country by the United States Department of Agriculture, less than 10 percent, including SeaWorld San Diego, SeaWorld Orlando, and Discovery Cove, have proven to meet these standards.”

“SeaWorld animal care experts are committed to providing our animals with the very highest standard of care. AZA accreditation is a rigorous process that acknowledges that our facilities, husbandry and veterinary care meet those of the world’s most respected zoological organizations,” said Brad Andrews, Chief Zoological Officer for SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc.

To be accredited, SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Diego and Discovery Cove underwent a thorough review to ensure each of three parks has and will continue to meet ever-rising standards, which include animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years in order to be members of the Association.

The accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspecting team observes all aspects of the institution’s operation, including animal care; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; visitor services; and other areas. Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal hearing of AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission, after which accreditation is granted, tabled, or denied. Any institution that is denied may reapply one year after the Commission’s decision is made.

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 seven 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


Please contact Fred Jacobs, SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., at 407.226.5210 for additional information about the facility, including special events and activities for visitors and its ongoing commitment to wildlife conservation and science education.