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Nashville Zoo Wins Back-to-Back Exhibit Awards

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: September 19, 2020 10:08 pm

Nashville Zoo Awards

The Tiger Crossroads exhibit at Nashville Zoo

Photo Credit: Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo is celebrating back to back wins in the annual Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) exhibit design awards.

Their Tiger Crossroads exhibit achieved top honors in the awards. Nashville Zoo also received this award in 2019 for their Expedition Peru: Trek of the Andean Bear exhibit.

This wins make Nashville Zoo only one of the three zoos in history to achieve top honors for the exhibit design award in consecutive years. The other two were St Louis Zoo in 1966-67 and Bronx Zoo in 1986-87.

Nashville Zoo Awards

Details in the tiger exhibit at Nashville Zoo

Photo Credit: Nashville Zoo

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“This is, quite honestly, the highlight of my 30 plus years here at the Zoo,” said Nashville Zoo President and CEO Rick Schwartz. “For our Zoo to stand alongside two of the most respected and well-known zoos in the country is a huge accomplishment. Our staff, board, Zoo members, and donors should all be very proud of what their support has been able to achieve.”

“Clearly it takes a great team to accomplish what we have done in the relatively short time since we opened in 1997,” added Schwartz. “I am always humbled about how our staff comes together to assist in building our award-winning exhibits. I am forever grateful.”

Nashville Zoo received the award during the AZAs annual conference which this year was held virtually.

Judges for the award were unanimous in awarding tiger crossroads top honors owing to the overall aesthetics and authenticity of the exhibit, the improvements to the original space both for the animals and guests, the extraordinary level of exhibit detail, the high level of educational content, and Nashville Zoo’s long term commitment to tiger conservation.

Nashville Zoo Awards

A clouded leopard cub at Nashville Zoo

Photo Credit: Nashville Zoo

Tiger crossroads wasn’t the only award winning project for Nashville Zoo at the AZA awards this year. Their conservation breeding program for the clouded leopard was awarded the Edward H. Bean award. The award recognizes a significant captive propagation effort that either significantly enhances the population of a species, or represents a breakthrough in husbandry or breeding strategies that are significant milestones for creating a new zoo and aquarium population.

Nashville Zoo received this award as part of the clouded leopard consortium which also includes the National Zoo's Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Since 2002 the group have turned a dwindling North American clouded leopard population in to a thriving, genetically stable breeding program.

“Nashville Zoo, along with our partners, developed husbandry and socialization techniques that dramatically reduced clouded leopard infant mortality and vastly improved their managed care environment,” Schwartz said. “I am extremely proud that Nashville Zoo is being recognized for our long term commitment and expertise with this species.”

Learn more about clouded leopards here – Clouded leopard fact file | The Animal Facts

Learn more about Nashville Zoo on their website – Nashville Zoo

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