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Don Moore has been part of zoos and wildlife conservation for more than 40 years.

COURTESY PHOTO: MICHAEL DURHAM/OREGON ZOO - Oregon Zoo Director Don Moore plans to retire in late August. He will stay on to help the Zoo Foundation with fundraising. Don Moore, who has led the Oregon Zoo for four years, said Monday that he plans to retire this summer.

Moore announced his retirement Aug. 3. He has spent 45 years in zoo management, animal-welfare science and wildlife conservation. He will continue at the Oregon Zoo through the end of August, then transition to a director emeritus role to help the Oregon Zoo Foundation with fundraising. He plans to return to the East Coast to spend more time with family.

"It's been an honor to work with such a dedicated, passionate group of staff, volunteers and supporters here in Oregon," Moore said. "People in this part of the country have a stronger connection to animals and wildlife than anywhere else I've seen."

Moore came to Portland in 2016 from Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C., where he was associate director. Before that, he worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, as director of Brooklyn's Prospect Park Zoo and co-chair of the society's renowned Animal Enrichment Program.

Under his leadership, the Oregon Zoo won six awards from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums: three for conservation work, two for excellence and innovation in exhibit design and one for achievement in workforce and audience diversity.

The zoo also set annual attendance records during Moore's tenure — more than 1.7 million visitors during the 2017-18 fiscal year. It also opened several new exhibits, including red pandas, Pacific lamprey and the Education Center. New habitats for polar bears, primates and rhinos will open in 2021.


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