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Jackson Zoo press release

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Jackson Zoo press release Powered By Docstoc
					FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
September 12, 2013                                                       ashepard@jacksonzoo.org
                                                                         601-352-2580x225

                         Jackson Zoo Remains Accredited During Appeal Process

Jackson, MS - The Jackson Zoo was denied accreditation on Sunday, September 8th by the Association of
Zoo and Aquariums (AZA) Accreditation Committee at the annual conference in Kansas City,
Missouri. The Commission denied the Jackson Zoo accreditation due solely over concerns of the Zoo’s
financial stability at the time of the accreditation review and hearing.

The Commission’s concerns appear to be related to the timing and approval of the Zoo’s request for
funding of $1.4MM for the current operating year. Although the Mayor provided a firm promise to
support the Zoo’s request for $1.4MM prior to City Council’s approval of the full budget, the guidelines
of the AZA Accreditation Commission clearly state that approved funding must be secured and that
conditional or promised funds are not considered sustainable operating funds.

While the Zoo understands and endorses the accreditation process, the Zoo believes that its denial of
accreditation was negatively impacted by the timing of the City of Jackson’s budget approval process
and the Accreditation hearing. Unfortunately, the Accreditation meeting and hearing was prior to the
approval of the FY13/14 City budget and the Zoo’s request for its $1.4MM in operating support.

Once the City approves the $1.4MM funding for the Zoo, the Zoo will appeal the Commission’s
decision. The Zoo remains an accredited AZA institution during the appeal process.

The Zoo’s course of action for appeal will address its financial stability including: the provision of an
outline for financial viability that integrates the Zoo’s plans to right-size the Zoo for its baseline
attendance and the leveraging of the generous support and commitments from Zoo donors and friends
from throughout the West Jackson community, the City of Jackson, Hinds County and the State of
Mississippi.

The Zoo looks forward to sharing their plan to remain an accredited AZA institution within the coming
weeks.

				
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