The Utica Zoo is now among the very best zoos in the nation, earning a coveted accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Only 232 zoos and aquariums have manged to earn accreditation from the AZA. The application process took over a year, and included a rigorous inspection process.

What does the new accreditation mean to zoo patrons?  

The accreditation allows the zoo to participate in animal exchange and breeding programs, which means we could expect to see new and different animals visiting the Utica Zoo.

The zoo will gain access to certain funding and grants and access to collaborate with world renowned animal care specialists.

"AZA accreditation carries numerous benefits including recognition from the top animal care facilities in the world.We now join the other 232 AZA Accredited Zoos and Aquariums nationwide in this prestigious honor...thank you to our staff, volunteers, contractors, Board of Directors, donors, the Oneida County Legislature and County Executive Anthony Picente for their dedication, hard work and support in achieving this recognition,” the Utica Zoo said in a release.

More From Lite 98.7