Minnesota Zoo Director Lee Ehmke named president of world zoo association

Lee Ehmke, the Minnesota Zoo’s director and CEO since 2000, has been named the new president of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Announcement of his two-year term came at the international association’s annual conference this week in Orlando.

Ehmke’s charge as president: to implement a strategic plan to assure “the full conservation potential of the world’s zoos and aquariums.” That includes a global plan for zoo animal welfare.

Said Ehmke in a statement:

“As the future of wildlife and wild places becomes increasingly uncertain, the collective work of zoos and aquariums is more critical than ever. International cooperation on species survival and in situ (in nature) conservation, the sharing of best practices and representation of the zoo/aquarium community in global conservation forums are all roles facilitated well by WAZA.”

Before coming to the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, Ehmke was director of planning and design at New York’s Wildlife Conservation Society, headquartered at the Bronx Zoo.

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