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Columbus Zoo Accreditation Appeal Denied

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium entrance sign
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has lost its appeal to have its accreditation reinstated.

In a statement, the zoo did not give a reason why the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Board of Directors denied the zoo's request. The zoo’s new President and CEO Tom Schmid said that while disappointing, the zoo will not be slowed down by the AZA Board decision.

"We are exploring all options to continue fulfilling our mission and to continue our work with endangered and threatened species that need our help, Schmid said.

The AZA stripped the zoo of its main accreditation in early October, amid scandals that included the misappropriation of funds and resources by former top zoo management, and accusations that former zoo director Jack Hannah had inappropriate ties to the big cat trade.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Matthew Rand is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides with Ann Fisher.