Buffalo Zoo president and CEO resigns

The president and CEO of the Buffalo Zoo has resigned, a minor in excess of 5 yrs due to the fact she arrived from the Indianapolis Zoo.

Norah Fletchall did not show why she resigned, but stated, “I am on the lookout forward to my following experienced endeavor.”

Board Chairman David Flynn stated her departure was a mutual decision.

“I think everyone seemed at in which we ended up, and basically we both agreed that it almost certainly made perception to look at selections likely ahead,” Flynn stated.

Fletchall was at the helm as the zoo formulated a new strategic approach and guided the city’s most frequented cultural attraction by the pandemic. 

Jonathan Dandes, the board’s immediate earlier chair, will lead a nationwide lookup committee to discover a successor. Chief Zoological Officer Lisa Smith, who has worked 27 yrs as a zoo qualified, was named interim president and CEO.

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The zoo recently taken care of its accreditation from the Affiliation of Zoos and Aquariums, the industry’s oversight business, subsequent a June inspection.

“We on the board desire Norah the greatest and thank her for main the profitable AZA accreditation process,” Flynn. 

“Her stewardship of the zoo, her adore of our animals and her vision as established out in our strategic plan served put the zoo on a vivid route for the potential,” he stated.

From 2000 to 2018, the Buffalo Zoo up to date or designed 12 enclosures at a price tag of $56 million, ranging from the enclosed Rainforest Falls to the Arctic Edge and Sea Otter Cove. The bold jobs have been required at the nation’s 3rd oldest zoo, which has a number of melancholy-era WPA properties constructed by President Franklin Roosevelt’s administration in the 1930s.

Zoomagination (copy)

The entrance to the Buffalo Zoo is reflected in a puddle as it is illuminated for Zoomagination: Pageant of Lanterns and Lights on Thursday, July 28, 2022.

Because Fletchall’s arrival in 2017, there has been higher awareness paid to upgrading deferred infrastructure requirements.    

“We’ve performed this kind of a wonderful job around the decades of developing spectacular new reveals,” Fletchall instructed The Information in March. “But we have to preserve these displays, and we also have to consider care of the more mature structures and make positive they are very well delivered for, and that they supply good homes for the animals.”

An assessment of the properties on the 23.5-acre zoo grounds commissioned in 2020 identified major challenges, such as a long time-outdated roofs, heating and air-circulation systems in bad situation and disregarded plumbing desires. 

She said she was optimistic that operating with point out, city and county governments will generate the funding important to “very clear up these backlogs in a meaningful way.” 

Fletchall was main running officer and supervising vice president of operations at the Indianapolis Zoo prior to coming to Buffalo, wherever she succeeded Donna Fernandes.

“It has been an complete enjoyment and honor to guide the Buffalo Zoo,” Fletchall explained in a assertion. 

Mark Sommer handles preservation, development, the waterfront, tradition and extra. He is also a former arts editor at The Information.