Editorial: Continue supporting the Henry Vilas Zoo

MADISON, Wis. - Last week Dane County officials learned Dane County's Henry Vilas Zoo had retained its accreditation from the AZA, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It's an honor and it's welcome news.

The recognition, which is awarded to less than 10 percent of some twenty-eight hundred wildlife exhibitors licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, means the Vilas Zoo can continue to participate in species survival programs for endangered species. It is also recognition of the zoo's standards for high-quality animal care and welfare.

It's also a relief given concerns raised during a contentious battle with the Henry Vilas Zoological Society accreditation might be at risk. The county ended its partnership with the Society and has brought its volunteer and fundraising functions in house. The accreditation would suggest the AZA is okay with the arrangement and plans are moving forward for expanded zoo hours and more. Good. Our free-for-ever Zoo is one of Dane County's greatest assets. Accreditation helps ensure it stays that way.

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