The American Crocodile Education Sanctuary recently earned Verification status from the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. The announcement was made in a correspondence from GFAS on December 19, 2011.

In the correspondence, it was stated that “the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries is honored to announce that the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary in Belize has achieved GFAS Verification. This is the fourth sanctuary to be recognized in Central America, and the first in Belize.”

A site visit was conducted by veterinarian Isabelle Paquet-Durand a few months ago, who provided a comprehensive report to GFAS. Robin Mason, Accreditation Manager for GFAS stated in reference to ACES that, “it is so wonderful to see this sanctuary recover from the intentionally-set fire last fall, which resulted in the total loss of the former ACES facility in Toledo District of Belize, as well as in the tragic loss of crocodiles.”

The GFAS Verification means that ACES meets the comprehensive and rigorous definition of a true sanctuary that is providing humane and responsible care of the crocodiles. ACES meets thorough and peer-reviewed standards established by GFAS, which is the only globally recognized organization providing standards for identifying legitimate animal sanctuaries and rescue centers. The verification status also provides a clear and trusted means for the public, donors worldwide and government agencies to recognize ACES as an organization that is worthy of support for continued growth and development.

Co-founder and director of ACES Cherie Chenot-Rose commented, “This is huge for us. We’re very proud to receive this very prestigious accreditation. It means that we are meeting standards set internationally, that the quality of our facility has met superior standards. At ACES, our facility is constructed in a way to ensure that the animals are being kept in the most humane way possible and that the best interest and welfare for their health is being maintained.”

With the recognition from GFAS, more international funding will become available to ACES. Chenot-Rose stated, “Having this will definitely open up more funding opportunities for our facility. We would very much like to construct a facility such as the one in Ladyville here on the island but the land is just not available.”

The new ACES facility that was accredited is located in Ladyville Village in the Belize District. ACES is dedicated to the conservation and protection of Belize’s critical wetland habitats, specifically crocodilians, through scientific research and education in order to preserve Belize’s wildlife for future generations.