COLORADO SPRINGS — Matt Meister visited the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (CMZoo) for a giraffe feeding frenzy and to find out more about what it takes for a zoo to become accredited.

This comes as CMZoo is once again in contention for the Best Zoo in USA TODAY’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. It’s a competition of the best Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoos, a designation that is not easy to earn, Matt found out.

Last year, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo earned a completely clean accreditation, which means that during their inspection, not a single concern was reported. That inspection is very meticulous – so much so that it only happens every five years. Over a course of four days, they inspect everything from animal welfare and habitats, to education and conservation programs, and guest experiences.

Last year Matt spoke with Bob Chastain, CMZoo’s president and CEO, who told FOX21 that they even looked at the expiration dates of Neosporin packets in human first-aid kits! CMZoo is one of only four organizations in 50 years of accreditations to earn a completely clean report.

All of the hard work zoo employees put into their animals care and into the memorable experiences of zoo-goers makes CMZoo worthy of every vote they get in USA TODAY’s competition, which currently ranks CMZoo at #4 in the overall category, and the Rocky Mountain Wild exhibit at #1 in the Best Exhibit category!

The competition isn’t over yet, though. You can still cast your vote for CMZoo, just click here to get started.