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The North Carolina Zoo is once again considered one of the best zoos in the world. That’s the findings of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums CEO, Jim Maddy said the zoo meets the groups highest standards. Maddy praised the zoo after announcing his organization has again awarded accreditation to the facility.

Zoos and aquariums have to undergo a rigorous application process every five years to remain accredited. The process includes a detailed inspection and a formal hearing.

The North Carolina Zoo opened in 1974 and has 500 acres set aside for its animals.

It is also the largest “walk through” natural habitat zoo in the world.

The zoo is located 75 miles west of Raleigh.