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New Zoo Miami Director Announced

MIAMI ( February 22, 2021 ) — 

Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Director Maria Nardi is proud to announce the appointment of the new director of Zoo Miami William Elgar, following the retirement of Carol Kruse on March 3, 2021.

Mr. Elgar brings exceptional leadership and professional experience, including over 20 years of zoo animal science and care, park operations, management, marketing, and guest experience. A reputable member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Mr. Elgar began his career in May 2000, specializing in animal behavior and enrichment for the Chessington World of Adventures Zoo in London, England. By February 2005, he was promoted to head of animal behavior and enrichment, wherein he led all efforts involving animal health and guest safety for the attraction. In this charge, he developed excellent behavior management skills that have served him well in each progressively more responsible role, resulting in his proficiency in the development of husbandry training programs and zookeeper staff training programs for various large mammal collections in the Whipsnade Zoo in London. In 2015, he broadened his experience toward his most recent role as the director of zoological operations for the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia, where he managed all the aquarium’s animal operations staff, budget and exhibits. His success in these roles stems from his acquired experience from serving as a zookeeper and subsequently as an animal enrichment specialist, culminating in management level positions at various zoos.  

“Will is passionate about wildlife conservation. I am confident that his stellar professional experience and proven collaborative leadership success will further the mission and vision of the zoo and Miami-Dade County Parks, taking us to the next level in delivering extraordinary guest experiences, as we continue to increase conservation awareness and education in Miami-Dade County and beyond,” said Director Nardi. 

“I am thrilled to be joining Zoo Miami and Miami-Dade Parks,” said Elgar. “I am committed to the mission of conservation and of sharing the wonder of wildlife in this community and continuing to expand on the Zoo’s extraordinary stewardship initiatives. Animal well-being and environmental stewardship will be high priorities.”

In addition to his impressive professional accomplishments, Elgar holds a degree in biology from Kingston University in Kingston-Upon-Thames, England, as well as a graduate diploma in management from Anglia Ruskin University in Coventry, England.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava welcomed the new director, saying, “Zoo Miami is near and dear to my heart. We are proud to add such an experienced industry expert to the Zoo’s leadership team overseeing the largest zoo in Florida and the fifth largest in the nation, especially at this important time for outdoor recreation and public spaces in our community.”

“Zoo Miami is a gateway to South Dade and its economy, and important to the mission of wildlife conservation,” added Miami-Dade County District 9 Commissioner Kionne McGhee. “Elgar is well-qualified for the position, and I trust he will lead the zoo through a seamless transition.”

President and CEO of Zoo Miami Foundation Bill Moore said, “We look forward to a strong working relationship with Will, in being partners in support of the Zoo’s mission and in championing wildlife conservation particularly with the new Animal Hospital.”

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