Sedgwick Co. Zoo’s new director focuses on conservation


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – One of the biggest attractions in Sedgwick County is the zoo.

There’s a new guy in town and he is on a mission to not only keep the zoo’s legacy going but to add an interesting educational aspect that he said will benefit kids and families.

The Sedgwick County Zoo’s new director, Jeff Ettling, is ready to get to work at a job he says is all about conservation.

“Most people don’t understand the role that the modern zoo plays in conservation,” said Ettling. “We really are a conservation organization, we want people to come here, have a good time, we want them to learn but we also want them to know that our roll extends to a much larger scope.”

Currently, the zoo has a bird curator that travels the world learning about endangered birds. The curator then brings that knowledge back and passes it on to our locals who visit the zoo.

“Really, we provide opportunities for people to learn about wildlife and wild places while they visit the zoo,” said Ettling.

Ettling said he’s passionate about people learning more about wildlife conservation and he wants more education on wildlife that live not just in zoo settings but wildlife, literally, out in the wild.

“Wildlife don’t see borders, they move freely, and humans are the only ones that designate where we can go and where we can’t go without visas,” said Ettling. “They don’t have that kind of system.”

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