Minnesota Zoo Media Contact

If you are a member of the press, please contact: Kelly Lessard
Public Relations Manager
Minnesota Zoo
13000 Zoo Boulevard
Apple Valley, MN 55124
952.431.9217 direct
952.431.9300 fax
kelly.lessard@state.mn.us

Apple Valley, MN – September 22, 2015: The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has announced that the Minnesota Zoo has been recognized with Significant Achievement for the 2015 Edward H. Bean Award for its tiger program.

“This award, which highlights the important work aquariums and zoos are doing to help save species in their own communities as well as in the wild, provides well-deserved national recognition for the leadership of the Minnesota Zoo team in conservation science,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy.

The Edward H. Bean Award is a historic award within AZA, established in September 1956 honoring the first director of Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo and one of the founders of AZA.  The Edward H. Bean Award recognizes propagation or management programs that contribute to the reproductive success of one or more species and/or subspecies.

“If there is one animal most closely associated with our Zoo, it is the tiger,” says Minnesota Zoo Interim Director and President Kevin Willis. “Generations of Minnesotans have had the opportunity to see and experience Amur tigers thanks to the Zoo’s long-term commitment to the species. From our large, immersive habitats to our well-publicized management, breeding and conservation efforts, the Zoo’s efforts to champion the critical needs of this majestic animal are effectively educating and inspiring our guests to action.”

Continues Willis: “Within the accredited Zoo community, the Tiger Species Survival Plan and its Tiger Conservation Campaign are models for the continued growth and impact of effective breeding, management and conservation programs. These programs successfully merge the dual needs for internal management of the highest standards and external efforts to address the critical issues facing tigers in the wild.

Collaborative partners on the program include: IUCN/SSC’s Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, and Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo.

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and seven other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.

The Minnesota Zoo is a year-round destination located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. Its mission is to connect people, animals and the natural world to save wildlife. For more information, call 952.431.9500 or visit mnzoo.org. The Minnesota Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and an institutional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).