Scholars Gild September 2016

The Role of the Modern Zoo

Tuesday, September 20

Lower Arden Gild Hall

7:30 PM

The role of the zoo has evolved to prioritize research, education, and conservation. Some people still condemn the existence of zoos a form pure entertainment. While It is true that zoos started as menageries and amusement parks, they have come a long way. Currently, laws protect wild animals and guarantee their welfare (e.g., Animal Welfare Act, Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act). Accreditation bodies make sure zoos and aquariums offer great care for their animals. Zoos have been responsible for large amounts of knowledge to the scientific community on species health, reproductive behavior, life cycles and more which has played a critical role in saving animals both in captivity and in the wild. In addition zoos promote species conservation through well managed species plans which in many cases have led to species reintroduction back into the wild as well as educating the millions of visitors who come through the gates annually.

At our September Scholars Gild discussion, Gene Peacock, Director at the Brandywine Zoo, will lead our discussion on the role of the modern zoo and specific information about the programming and activities at the Brandywine Zoo. All are welcomed at Scholars Gild discussions. There is no fee to attend; please consider making a donation at the door to help cover the costs of putting on these events and to support the Arden Club.

Brief bio

Gene Peacock, Director at the Brandywine Zoo, has been involved in zoos, museums and park management since the late 1980s. Over the course of his career he has worked with a wide variety of fauna at several zoological institutions, managed major natural and cultural conservation projects, as well as overseeing operations in several parks and zoos. Since taking over as the Director at the Brandywine Zoo in early 2013, he has worked to revitalize Delaware’s only AZA accredited facility, leading to a successful accreditation inspection in 2016. During his tenure, zoo attendance has increased by 15%, major updates have taken place that include facilities and exhibit upgrades, new visitor service amenities and a complete overhaul of the zoos educational programming to focus on species conservation and to align with STEM initiatives. Gene has a BA in Anthrophony from UNC Greensboro, a Masters in History and Museum Studies from Oklahoma City University and is All But Dissertation on a PhD in Museum Studies from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK. Gene, his wife Deanna and two daughters live in north Wilmington where they enjoy outdoor activities, travel and martial arts as a family.