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Spring River Zoo earns successful inspection

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The latest federal inspection of the Spring River Park and Zoo was conducted last week and found the zoo to be in compliance will all standards.

The standards are established by the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the regulatory agency that licenses the zoo. The inspection completed on Thursday is the third consecutive inspection in which the zoo did not earn any noncompliant items.

“We would not get these perfect USDA inspections if it weren’t for my amazing staff,” said Zoo Superintendent Marge Woods.

The unannounced inspections are performed by a veterinarian with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service at least once a year. During each inspection, the veterinarian checks the health and well-being of the zoo’s mammals (other animals — birds and reptiles — are maintained under a permit from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish).

In addition, the zoo facilities — animal enclosures, fencing, shelters, water tanks and other structures — are inspected. The zoo’s adherence to animal ‘enrichment protocols’ is also reviewed. Enrichment is the environmental enhancement of the animals’ lives by providing them with mental and physical stimulation to increase natural and healthy behavior.

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