Tbilisi Zoo Receives Message of Confidence from the EAZA

To Whom it May Concern:

Tbilisi Zoo became a Candidate for Membership of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) in October 2010. The Candidate for Membership programme is an initiative of EAZA, and is aimed at working together with approved zoos in developing economies in Eastern Europe to raise their standards of animal care, business practice, health and safety, education, conservation and research. Candidate for membership institutions work with an EAZA appointed mentor, usually an experienced director of a western European zoo, to reach the stringent standards expected of a full member of the Association.

During its period as a Candidate for Membership, Tbilisi Zoo, under the leadership of Zurab Gurielidze, has proven itself to be conscientious and committed to the process of development. The EAZA mentor has seen great improvements in the skills of the employees, the welfare of the animals, and the service that the zoo provides to its visitors. Indeed Director Gurielidze and his staff have shown a high level of professionalism in dealing with the catastrophic flooding of the site, risking their lives to help reduce the danger to the citizens of Tbilisi, and working tirelessly to locate and return safely as many of the animals as possible. The EAZA mentor states clearly that a flood of such devastating power could not have been anticipated or planned for by any zoological institution.

EAZA strongly believes that well-run zoos and aquariums contribute greatly to the task of providing information and experience to help people understand the human relationship with nature, and to act upon this understanding to protect the environment and everything that lives in it. There could be no clearer endorsement of the zoo’s success in this field than the actions of hundreds of volunteers who have come to assist in the cleanup of the zoo and the surrounding area in recent days. EAZA believes that Tbilisi will benefit greatly from the rebuilding of the zoo, and that if run by Director Gurielidze, a proven partner for development, it will have the potential to reach the high standards we demand, and continue to provide joy, experience and knowledge to Tbilisi’s citizens for generations to come.

Yours Faithfully,

Simon Tonge

Chair, The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria.

25 June 2015 22:44