The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens was honored this month by its top accrediting body for its contributions to animal research.
The Zoo took home a Significant Achievement recognition for Research at the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Virtual Annual Conference. The award was for the Urban Wildlife Information Network, a partnership in which the Zoo is involved.
“Education and furthering the zoological field are at the heart of our mission,” said Stephanie Williams, the Zoo’s director. “To be acknowledged for that work, especially by the AZA, is an incredible honor.”
The AZA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums. It represents more than 230 facilities in the U.S. and overseas. The award was given, among others, during the organization’s annual conference.
The Urban Wildlife Information Network is an alliance of scientists at zoos, universities and other entities, including eight AZA members. The effort was started by the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. The project aims to collect the broader data needed to further understand the ways that animals and humans interact across regions and around the globe.
Urban Wildlife Information Network partners contribute to the largest international study ever on urban wildlife.
Williams added that the Zoo is thankful to Seminole County officials, who have supported the partnership and welcomed further research on the topic.
“We wouldn’t have been able to participate in this important research without the support of Seminole County leadership community, and we’re thankful,” she said. “Our staff have dedicated a substantial amount of time to this project, and we are proud of our participation in this vital research.”