Following years of behind-the-scenes work by HAP leadership, on Friday, March 19, the Pittsburgh Zoo announced they were finally beginning the process of achieving AZA accreditation once again. The Zoo ended its accreditation in 2015 after disagreements with the AZA on elephant care standards. Despite being in violation of their lease, which requires them to maintain AZA accreditation, the Zoo chose to forego their accreditation to continue with the dangerous policy of allowing unprotected contact between elephants and keepers. In its place, the Zoo elected to seek accreditation from the ZAA, a much weaker accreditation body. Restoring the Zoo’s AZA accreditation is a necessary step to raise the standard of the Pittsburgh Zoo, and we welcome their decision to do so. HAP will be monitoring the accreditation process to ensure it is moving along in a timely manner.