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ZooMontana regains national accreditation

Zoo lost accreditation in 2011 due to a lack of long-term funding plan
Posted at 4:12 PM, Sep 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-16 18:12:38-04

ZooMontana in Billings has regained its accreditation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums .

The zoo lost its accreditation in 2011 because it did not have a sufficient long-term funding plan in place.

ZooMontana's executive director Jeff Ewelt announced on Monday that following an inspection in May 2019, the zoo has received AZA accreditation.

“With incredible staff and eager volunteers, we kind of knew we made it when companies started calling and wanting to be apart of our team,” Ewelt said.

AZA is the primary accrediting body for zoos and aquariums in the United States, and has been for more than 40 years.

Regulatory U.S. agencies such as OSHA and the USDA consider AZA standards as the “national” standard. Those agencies refer to AZA standards when evaluating institutions.

A lot of the special events have helped improve financial stability, according to Ewelt.

More information is available on the ZooMontana website , including this overview:

ZooMontana was incorporated and established as a non-profit 501 C (3) organization in 1984. It is the only true zoological and botanical park within a 500-mile radius of Billings, MT. In 1995, ZooMontana opened its doors at its new site, a 70-acre complex situated immediately off Interstate 90 at Zoo Drive on the west side of Billings.Today, ZooMontana is a zoological/botanical garden, accredited arboretum and educational facility dedicated to the conservation of wildlife throughout Montana and the 45th parallel of earth. ZooMontana cares for over 80 animals of 56 different species, including Amur Tigers, Grizzly Bear, Wolverine, River Otters, Takin, and Canada Lynx, among others, most of which are rescues.