Oregon Zoo names Smithsonian senior scientist as new director - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon Zoo names Smithsonian senior scientist as new director

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Donald E. Moore, new Oregon Zoo director (Photo: Oregon Zoo) Donald E. Moore, new Oregon Zoo director (Photo: Oregon Zoo)

A senior scientist at the Smithsonian's National Zoo has been hired as the new director of the Oregon Zoo.

The zoo announced the hiring of Donald E. Moore, Ph.D., on Wednesday. He is set to begin as director on Feb. 29.

Zoo leaders said Moore has nearly 40 years experience in wildlife conservation, animal welfare and zoo management.

"I am honored, and I look forward to working with such a dedicated, passionate group of staff, volunteers and supporters," Moore said. "The Oregon Zoo is already regarded as one of the top zoos in the country, and it's headed in a great direction. I want to build on that and help keep that momentum going."

The previous director, Kim Smith, was fired in May 2014. Metro, which operates the zoo, said at the time, "mistakes were made and important information was not fully disclosed," related to the death of a 20-year-old orangutan named Kuta.

Teri Dresler, the zoo's interim director, will now resume her former duties as general manager of Metro's visitor venues.

Moore has worked at the Smithsonian's National Zoo for the past 10 years, most recently as a senior scientist for conservation programs on assignment with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Moore worked at the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, where he was director of Brooklyn's Prospect Park Zoo and co-chair of the society's Animal Enrichment Program.

"Moore is passionate about climate change and the actions people can take to help protect polar bears and other Arctic animals. He credits his strong conservation ethic to his upbringing in upstate New York, where he learned to fish, camp, hike, ski and 'make excellent jams and jellies' - and he looks forward to living in Portland, with its abundance of natural areas and easy access to outdoor activities," a zoo release states.

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