- Associated Press - Thursday, March 27, 2014

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Jackson Zoo is keeping its accreditation.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums had stripped the zoo’s accreditation in September after citing concerns about its financial stability. The zoo was placed on provisional status while appealing that decision.

The Clarion-Ledger reports (https://on.thec-l.com/1m7L7FH ) the group reversed its decision at a hearing Wednesday and reinstated Jackson Zoo’s membership that it has had since 1989.

City Councilman De’Keither Stamps said the zoo and city collaborated to address the body’s financial concerns. Stamps said it paid off the zoo’s debts, secured funding for its future operations and raised money to fix crumbling infrastructure outside the gates.

“We deliver to the citizens of Jackson a debt-free and accredited zoo,” Stamps said.

Had it lost the appeal, the zoo could have faced the forfeiture of nearly four dozen animals - including its Sumatran tigers, white rhinoceros and red wolves - that it houses through the organizations Special Survival Program.

Jackson Zoo’s accreditation will last five years before the facility must submit a new application.

“This is a very happy day,” said Eric Stracener, president of the zoo’s board of directors.


Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, https://www.clarionledger.com

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