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Indy Zoo Won't Lose Accreditation

Last updated on Thursday, January 22, 2009

(INDIANAPOLIS) - The deaths of 15 Bonnethead Sharks at the Indianapolis Zoo won’t endanger the zoo’s accreditation.

The sharks died when a faulty sensor caused a worker to switch an ozone generator back on, pumping the ozone level in the shark tank too high for the fish to survive.

The Maryland-based Association of Zoos and Aquariums handles accreditation for the nation's zoos. Spokesman Steve Feldman says Indianapolis has had an outstanding record since first being accredited in 1981, and says a single incident wouldn't affect a zoo's accreditation.

The AZA does revoke accreditation, most recently for Tampa's Lowery Park Zoo last month.

Feldman says such an action would reflect a general failure to maintain good living conditions for the animals, and a belief that the problems can't be readily fixed.

The AZA conducts an intensive six-month review of zoos' accreditation every five years. Feldman says typically, one or two zoos a year will fall short in that process.

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