Knoxville Zoo Wins National Awards

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Knoxville Zoo Wins National Awards

Posted: 10/05/2009
Knoxville Zoo won national recognition from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) at the national conference held in Portland, Oregon, September 12 -17. AZA is North America's independent accrediting organization for zoos and aquariums and accredits only those institutions that have achieved rigorous standards for animal care, education, wildlife conservation and science.

Bern Tryon, director of herpetology for Knoxville Zoo, was chosen as the AZA's North American Conservation Award Significant Achievement recipient for the Tennessee Bog Turtle Program. The program works in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Association (TWRA) to ensure the permanent protection and long-term viability of bog turtles in Tennessee. The Bog Turtle Program encompasses the study of bog turtle populations in natural sites, wetland restoration projects to expand habitat, and educational programs to further the understanding of these threatened animals. One of the most important components of the program has been the successful captive-breeding of bog turtles at Knoxville Zoo and their release into bogs in the upper East Tennessee area.

The zoo's marketing department was chosen as the Top Honors recipient for the AZA's Excellence in Marketing Award. The Marketing Award recognizes excellence in marketing campaigns developed and executed by its AZA member institutions. Knoxville Zoo's "Dam Construction" campaign, featuring one of the zoo's resident beavers, capitalized on the 2008 closure of I-40 for the SmartFix 40 construction project. The campaign took advantage of the closure of the main thoroughfare to the zoo to provide visitors with an alternative route and a light-hearted nod to some of the inconveniences of the interstate construction.

Knoxville Zoo is located off exit 392 from Interstate 40 and is open every day except Christmas Day.The zoo is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed tothe highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education. Currently, thezoo is open everyday from 9:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before thezoo closes. Next-day admission is free after 3:00 p.m. For more information, please call 865-637-5331ext. 300 or visit