Zoo Miami winging way to record
William Elgar, who has directed Zoo Miami since February, finds his new organization galloping down a path to break its record for annual attendance, nearing 1 million visitors.
Mr. Elgar, born and raised in England with a degree in biology from Kingston University in Kingston-Upon-Thames and a graduate degree in management from Anglia Ruskin University in Coventry, moved from being zoological director at the Georgia Aquarium for six years to Miami.
“It was a no brainer to come down here and see how I can support, help and lead Zoo Miami with the incredible staff,” Mr. Elgar said.
Zoo Miami closed due to the pandemic from June through August 2020 but opened again following CDC guidelines in September. “We reduced capacity and were at about 50%, but it didn’t slow us down. We can’t thank the local community enough for supporting us. We are close to 1 million guests for the year.”
At the end of June, Zoo Miami was at roughly 800,000 visitors; its years are charted from October to October.
“Every month we’re breaking records and I can’t say thank you enough to the community and our guests. It’s not just attendance, but also that our message is getting out there.”
Zoo Miami is one of 275 Miami-Dade County parks. “For me, every challenge is an opportunity. This is the jewel of the 275 parks. Getting my hand and mind around it is a big nut to crack and learning what’s needed and how I can serve to help it move forward,” he said.
“My favorite part of working here – and it’s been five months today – is easily the incredible staff,” Mr. Elgar said last week. “They are all so passionate. Whether it’s veterinarians, animal car, admissions team or horticulture. The list goes on.”