Turtle Back Zoo receives American Humane certification

Photo Courtesy of Glen Frieson
From left are Zoological Society of NJ Executive Director Adam Kerins, Parks Director Dan Salvante, Freeholder Patricia Sebold, American Humane COO Jack Hubbard, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr., Freeholder Len Luciano and Turtle Back Zoo Director Michael Kerr.

WEST ORANGE, NJ — On Wednesday, March 28, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. announced that American Humane has granted certification to Turtle Back Zoo. AH is the third national organization to award certification or accreditation to the zoo. In addition, the county executive announced that work was under way to build a new flamingo exhibit.

“Receiving certification from American Humane couldn’t make me happier. We have invested a great deal to transform Turtle Back Zoo into a destination attraction and providing our animals with the highest quality of care is an integral part of our mission. Having the support of AH is further proof that we are committed to conservation, and raising the public’s awareness about animals and their important roles in our world,” DiVincenzo said. “Becoming a certified facility is not an easy task, and it was only made possible because of the dedication on a daily basis of our zoo staff, volunteer docents and Zoological Society members. I am proud that we have all come together with the singular goal of making Turtle Back the best it can be.”

“American Humane is proud to recognize Turtle Back Zoo with its prestigious Humane Certified seal of approval,” American Humane President and CEO Robin Ganzert said. “The American Humane Conservation program’s independent, third-party audit exhaustively verified that the animals living in Turtle Back Zoo are receiving the utmost of humane treatment and care.”

Turtle Back Zoo is the 17th facility in the United States to achieve certification through the global American Humane Conservation program for the welfare and humane treatment of the animals under its care. Turtle Back passed a rigorous third-party audit to earn the prestigious Humane Certified seal of approval. In addition to certification under the American Humane Conservation program, Turtle Back is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Zoological Association of America.

“Getting certified by one organization is hard, but earning and maintaining certification from three groups is very difficult. However, it displays our commitment to providing first-class and humane conditions for that animals that are in our care,” Turtle Back Zoo Director Michael Kerr said.

“This recognition by American Humane is a fantastic thing for Turtle Back Zoo. It shows our commitment to animals,” said Adam Kerins, executive director of the Zoological Society of New Jersey.