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Animal Care and Management at the National Zoo: Final Report
particular, the leadership failed to act on deficiencies that were brought to its attention in the early 1990s; this resulted in a lack of resources and support for programs that ensure animal welfare and provide training and professional development.
The committee was presented with copious evidence that the zoo has many strengths, including the quality of its science programs and the dedication of its staff. The zoo staff have expended enormous time and energy to enact favorable changes at the zoo as quickly as possible. Over the last 6 months, they have reorganized the preventive-medicine and nutrition programs, and made great strides in developing an electronic keeper record system, centralizing their commissary, and establishing performance measures and accountability at all levels of the organization.
For the National Zoo to regain its preeminence in the zoo community, the leaders of the Smithsonian and of the zoo must ensure that resources and support continue to flow into the zoo so that the zoo can address the major obstacles still ahead of it: establishing rigorous animal-care staff training, establishing a climate of accountability and personal responsibility, renovation or construction of animal facilities,and the development of a complete and comprehensive strategic plan.