The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has stripped the accreditation of Santa Rosa’s Safari West over concerns of the treatment of animals at the facility. Safari West is appealing the decision.
Following a a meticulous on-site multiple-day inspection by an independent team of trained zoological professionals, AZA noted serious concerns with veterinary practices and care at the facility, as well as the acquisition and disposition of animals.
“AZA membership is conditioned on adherence to our accreditation standards – the global “gold standard” for modern aquariums and zoos – and our independent Accreditation Commission has determined that Safari West has failed to uphold those standards,” said Dan Ashe, AZA President and CEO, in a statement.
Safari West is a 400-acre wilderness facility With about 900 animals representing more than 90 different species roaming across some of the largest habitats in the country. Animals found at the facility include cheetahs, lemurs, monkeys and giraffes. Visitors come from all over to see the animals on a safari or experience a glamping and culinary experience with a “Sonoma Senergeti” vibe.
According to the Safari Wes Executive Director Keo Hornbostel, the operations at the facility have remained mostly unchanged since it was accredited in 1993.
“Some of the information they were provided is not accurate,” Hornbostel said to KTVU-TV. “Having our vet care compromised is not true at all.”
The future of the facility remains unclear, but the appeal will likely take 45 days to complete. If the denial is upheld, Safari West will be eligible to apply for AZA accreditation again in September 2022.
Here’s a video glimpse into the park: