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Birmingham Zoo President & CEO Receives National Award

Birmingham Zoo President and CEO Chris Pfefferkorn is recognized by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Accreditation Commission as one of three (3) “Accreditation Inspectors of the Year.” This award spotlights zoo and aquarium professionals who donate their time to facilitate inspections for fellow organizations and whose work continues to be of exceptional quality.

The AZA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in conservation, education, science, and recreation. Accreditation is a process by which a program, organization, or institution is evaluated by recognized experts in the profession and is measured against the established standards and best practices of that profession. AZA grants accreditation to fewer than 10% of approximately 2,800 animal exhibitors licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Birmingham Zoo is proud to be one of only 235 zoos to receive this gold-standard accreditation and is the only AZA-accredited institution in the state of Alabama.

“We are elated that Chris has received this important award,” says Birmingham Zoo Deputy Director Lori Perkins. “It speaks to his professionalism and commitment to our industry. He has dedicated hundreds of hours to helping other zoos attain the highest standards. The Inspector of the Year award demonstrates Chris’ vast experience and professionalism.”

In over 30 years of working with AZA-accredited zoos, Chris has worked as the Senior Vice President at the Birmingham Zoo, Deputy Director of Living Collections at the Oregon Zoo, General Curator at the Ellen Trout Zoo, and as a Zookeeper at the San Antonio Zoo. In addition to this work in zoos, he has worked with the Chipangali Large Carnivore Project in Zimbabwe to aid in leopard and brown hyena conservation. Chris has spent his career dedicated to animal welfare and conservation.

View Birmingham Zoo President & CEO Receives National Award Press Release pdf HERE