Jim Breheny, Director of the Bronx Zoo, has been sworn-in as the new Chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Board of Directors.
As Chair of the Board, Breheny will work with three other executive officers and nine Board members. He will be involved in every aspect of the national organisation, including accreditation, ethics, animal welfare, and conservation.
“Jim has been a strong and influential voice within the AZA community for years. Jim’s experience in animal welfare and husbandry, combined with an incredible commitment to field conservation and saving species, make him well-suited to lead us as the next chair of the AZA Board of Directors,” said Dan Ashe, President and CEO of AZA. “I have had the opportunity to spend time with Jim – both at the Bronx Zoo and among his colleagues. He is a respected member of our community and will help us continue to advance our profession.”
Breheny said: “Our mission as leaders in the zoo and aquarium community all boils down to this: we need to provide the best care and welfare for the individual animals we keep. We must manage the species we keep sustainably for the future; and we must connect our animals and our exhibits to species in the wild and inspire and empower our visitors to support our efforts to save these species and their habitats. As members of this association, we must be active agents of conservation. We must continue to challenge ourselves, to increase our efforts and funding for saving species and protecting the areas in which they live.”
AZA has 231 accredited facilities – who annually collectively contribute $216 million to field conservation projects that help to protect species across the world. The facilities serve more than 196 million visitors each year and more than 12 million students on field trips.
The Bronx Zoo is located on 265 acres of hardwood forest in Bronx, NY. It opened on Nov. 8, 1899.