Trunkline Magazine (Louisville Zoo) Trunkline Magazine: March 2017 - Page 10

ZOO NEWS Two Top-Notch Inspectors Louisville Zoo Director John Walczak was recently named one of three inspectors of the year by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the accrediting agency of zoos and aquariums in North America. Walczak was recognized alongside his predecessor, previous Louisville Zoo Director Dr. Bill Foster, now President and Chief Executive Offi cer of the Birmingham Zoo in Alabama. This recognition is given to those who have contributed to a large number of AZA inspections, ensuring consistency and exceptional quality among accredited organizations. The inspector role is critical to the integrity of the accreditation process. The Louisville Zoo is truly fortunate in having such notable leadership over the past 28 years. Having two of three recognized inspectors associated with Louisville’s Zoo demonstrates a dedication to excellence in Louisville and to zoos and aquariums nationwide. Left to right: John Walczak, Dr. Bill Foster & Asian elephant Punch Digger and Riggs the Warthog Pigs A Paw-some Puma There’s a new puma in town! Becca, a two-year-old female puma, arrived from the Central Florida Zoo in January 2017. Becca was rescued at three months old by the Washington State Wildlife Commission after being separated from her mother. She was found signifi cantly underweight along with her sibling who, unfortunately, did not survive. Becca is acclimating well to her comfortable new home. Visitors can see Becca in the Cats of the Americas area near the MetaZoo. She will be on exhibit daily unless otherwise noted at the exhibit. Warthog twins Digger and Riggs are ready to charm you in the Africa area. These two young males are not quite a year old and come from the Erie Zoo where they were hand-reared. Both are very engaging and especially enjoy being scratched by keepers with a long-handled scrub brush. Watch the energetic duo play and chase each other around in the warthog exhibit across from the Rhino area. Inside your zoo I am incredibly honored to be recognized as an Inspector of the Year by the AZA along with former Director Dr. Bill Foster. AZA accreditation is the highest standard of certifi cation for a zoo or aquarium, surpassing the requirements of federal, state and local government regulations. There are approximately 2,800 animal exhibitors licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture. As of September 2016, only 232 of these institutions are AZA- accredited zoos and aquariums including your Louisville Zoo. Accreditation standards are extremely rigorous so these institutions refl ect the best of the best and have to be re-accredited every fi ve years. We hope you’ll cheer us on as we go up for accreditation again in 2018. 10 • Louisville Zoo Trunkline • Spring 2017