The zoo has two new Maras

Aldergrove zoo changes hands

New zoo owner opts for anonymity when sale announced.

  • Oct. 26, 2015 12:00 p.m.

PHOTO: Baby squirrel monkeys were recently born at the Greater Vancouver Zoo.

The Greater Vancouver Zoo has a new owner, an entrepreneur who started out teaching English.

The zoo made the announcement late Monday, noting that the news has been making its way through the grapevine.

“We are extremely pleased to announce that we have a new owner, and he is very keen to execute some big changes that we have all wanted and needed for many years,” said manager Jody Henderson.

The new owner is originally from China but has lived in Vancouver for a decade. Henderson said he prefers to remain anonymous.

“Many years ago he began his career as an English teacher but for several years now, he has been a successful entrepreneur with a passion for creating interesting and exciting places for people to have fun,” she said.

The first task was hiring an expert in zoos and animals.

The firm Bernard Harrison & Friends was on site last summer and will return as the consulting company develops a 20-year master plan for the whole facility. Henderson said there’s no specific timeline for that consulting work.

The sale closed in September and no financial details were released. The previous owner, Duk-Wan Park, is in his 80s.

The zoo also announced recent animal births, including three squirrel monkeys and two maras (a burrowing, hare-like animal native to South America).

The zoo started as the Vancouver Game Farm in 1970. The name was changed to the Greater Vancouver Zoological Centre and in 1999 was renamed the Greater Vancouver Zoo.

The zoo has about 45 off-season staff and about 55 during the busier summer season to care for more than 500 animals. About 225,000 people visit each year. Henderson said the zoo will continue its conservation and education work.

PHOTO: Baby mara born at the Greater Vancouver Zoo

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