Zoo Update with Denise Verret

mandrill baby
New in the Zoo
July 31, 2019
Dolly and Debbie

Animal welfare is our highest priority–here, Keeper Debbie Sears cares for California condor Dolly. Photo by Jamie Pham

The Los Angeles Zoo is an urban oasis of wildlife creating connections to nature for our many guests. It is truly an honor to be the next director of the Los Angeles Zoo and my tenure marks a time of new beginnings for this institution. I have had the great opportunity to serve as deputy director for the last 18 years, witnessing the many positive changes that have been achieved—and there is still much more to come. I look forward to leading the transformation of this Zoo into something that is uniquely Los Angeles, with animal welfare our highest priority. We will accomplish this with the new Vision Plan—a roadmap that will enable us to realize our role as a world-class destination in a world-class city.

The Los Angeles Zoo will continue to make its mark as a leader in efforts to conserve nature and protect the world’s biodiversity through our learning and community engagement programs. Los Angeles is steeped in a rich array of cultures, the spirit of innovation, and civic pride—and the Zoo embodies all of this. We are a place that is welcoming to all, committed to diversity, inclusion, equity, and accessibility.


The start of something new brings the hope of something great, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.” – Author Unknown 


Building bridges and strategic partnerships is essential as we strive every day to achieve our mission. At the foundation of the Zoo’s success is our partnership with the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association through its immense financial and operational support of the Zoo.

I also want to take the opportunity to say that I am extremely privileged to lead the best employees and volunteers anywhere. Together, they work tirelessly every day, with passion, pride, and purpose. So, as we turn the page and begin a new chapter in the life of the Los Angeles Zoo, let’s toast these new beginnings and reaffirm our commitment to change, hope, and empathy. Together, we will make a difference for wildlife and for our community by promoting biodiversity and human diversity.

More Reasons to Visit the Zoo in August!

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