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Zoo news: It takes a village to raise a successful zoo
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Children from TLC Preschool make slime during a recent trip to Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO


This week, the Great Bend Tribune will publish its annual guide to animals of the zoo. Watch for that supplement in Sunday’s paper. In it, Zoo Director Scott Gregory talks about the ongoing effort to earn AZA accreditation.

His original letter listed many people deserving of thanks. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough space to list them all. So, here’s a portion of Gregory’s letter than didn’t make the final cut:

"I have to give the zoo staff and volunteers a huge thank you, for without them, we wouldn’t have what we have today. Marge Bowen was hired as curator just over 12 months ago and has been instrumental in providing assistance with guiding the zoo through all of these new changes. John Zimmerman, Trish McKinley, and Stacie Hayes are our zookeepers and I thank them for putting up with me for the past year with all of the frustrations of new policies, protocols, and procedures. They’re the ones you see working with the animal collection regardless of how hot or cold it is outside.

"John Reyes and Mike Hooks are our zoo maintenance department. They have been working extremely hard on most of our projects to gain AZA accreditation and I am very grateful for the work they put in.

"As you enter the zoo through our raptor center, you will be greeted by either Brad Maddox or Carlie Brown. We couldn’t ask for anyone more friendly, funny, and bubbly than Brad and Carlie! Carlie will also be heading up our new educational programs, so look for her at your school, group, or organizations in the near future.

"The Great Bend Zoological Society has been side by side with the zoo for many years. The board of directors and now over 300 members has been incredible with their support. Dr. Mike Malone, Dr. Jackie Corbett, and the staff of Dr. Malone have been working so hard with the collection in keeping the animals healthy, performing emergency procedures, and trying to keep track of the hundreds of records.

"Last but not least I need to thank the many volunteer and community service workers we receive throughout the year. The dedication and effort is second to none and I speak for the entire staff when we say thank you!"