WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Sedgwick County Zoo has a new president and CEO. It is someone who has had ties to the zoo since his teenage years. On Wednesday, the Sedgwick County Zoological Society and Sedgwick County announced Scott Newland is the new head of the zoo.

Newland is an experienced Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) zoo professional with 22 years of progressive experience at Sedgwick County Zoo, most recently as deputy director since 2020.

Prior to his current role, Newland was the curator of birds and a zookeeper in the bird department. His start at the Sedgwick County Zoo dates back to his teenage years in the zoo’s volunteer program.

“You could say I’ve spent my whole life at the Zoo,” Newland said. “Wichita is my home, and zoos are my passion. I truly believe our Zoo is one of the best in the country. We’re doing amazing things for wildlife here and all over the world.

The zoo’s previous president and CEO, Dr. Jeff Ettling, left Wichita recently to head up the zoo in Jacksonville, Florida.

While Newland served as deputy director, he worked with Ettling on Phase 1 of the zoo’s strategic master plan.

“Scott is the right person to lead our Zoo into the future,” Sheryl Wohlford, Sedgwick County Zoological Society Board of Directors, said. “He has a lifetime of experience at SCZ and has already done so much to prove his passion and commitment toward the Zoo’s vision.”

Interim President and CEO Tim Kaufman will assist during the transition until Newland’s appointment is made official on April 24.