May 15, 2019- Congratulations to Jesse Pottebaum, our Deputy Director of Animal Care, for being named the new Director of the Abilene Zoological Gardens. In addition to giving Jesse the opportunity to lead all aspects of an accredited zoo, his new position provides the significant increase in compensation and benefits that a taxpayer-supported zoo can offer.
During his time at Austin Zoo, Jesse has helped lead a culture of continuous improvement and “leveled up” professionalism among the animal care team. Standards of care have been increased, more training opportunities have been provided, and expectations of habitat cleanliness and overall animal husbandry have been raised. Austin Zoo was already working toward these goals when Jesse came on board last year, and we are grateful for his leadership and dedication to our animals and staff. We wish him well on his new adventure.
“Jesse’s experience and leadership will be missed, but the animal care team is poised to continue providing our animals the highest standard of care,” said Rick King, a member of Austin Zoo’s board of directors. “Anytime a member of our team is highly sought by other zoological parks, it’s a validation that Austin Zoo has the right people taking care of our animals.”
The veterinary team will be responsible for leading the animal care team until a new Curator is named. As is always the case, only our licensed veterinarians can prescribe or change an animal’s medicines, treatment program or diet.
A national search is underway for a new Curator who will continue our journey of becoming the very best we can be as leaders in conservation, animal care, education and guest experience.