Micke Grove Zoo may soon privatize, bring in new animals
Zoo consultant Terry Maple and Diane DeBruno, first vice president of the Micke Grove Zoological Society, feed nectar to some lorikeets at the zoo on Thursday, May 17, 2012.
- Why zoo accreditation is so important
One of the Micke Grove Zoological Society's primary goals is to regain its accreditation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Micke Grove was accredited by the national agency in 1990, but lost its status in 2005, primarily due to budget cuts caused by the recession.
"It's incredibly important," zoo consultant Terry Maple said of zoos' needs to be accredited. "It's a seal of approval of quality."
Maple served on the association's board of directors for seven years and was its president in 1999. Here are some of the benefits the Association of Zoos and Aquariums provides, according to Maple:
Many zoos exchange animals with other zoos, but they're hesitant to provide animals to non-accredited zoos.
They're unlikely to lose animals due to non-accreditation. In recent years, the association took a Bali mynah bird and some Rodriguez Island bats from Micke Grove and gave them to accredited zoos.
Micke Grove employees and society members can get special zoo-related training and continuing education.
Eligibility for grants to improve the zoo through the association, the Disney Animal Kingdom Board and private foundations — grants that are not available to non-accredited zoos.
— Ross Farrow
- Diane Debruno at a glance
Occupation: Retired; now first vice president of the Micke Grove Zoological Society. She volunteers almost daily at the zoo.
Previous experience: Executive director for a zoo in Honolulu for four years, where she helped develop its master plan; worked 14 years at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek.
Volunteerism: Became a volunteer at Micke Grove Zoo about three years ago after talking to then-zoo director Ken Nieland about it; joined 11-member zoological society board two years ago.
Family: One daughter, son-in-law, two grandchildren.
- Terry Maple at a glance
Born: Mayfair, east of Los Angeles; raised in San Diego.
Residence: Jupiter, Fla.
Education: Bachelor of Arts in psychology, University of the Pacific; Master of Arts and doctorate in psychobiology, University of California, Davis.
Career: Nonprofit executive for 24 years at Audubon Zoo, Zoo Atlanta and Palm Beach Zoo; retired professor of conservation and behavior at Georgia Tech in Atlanta; now a consultant for many zoological societies including Micke Grove and San Francisco; currently affiliate professor of psychology at Florida Atlantic University and Emery University in Atlanta.
His first date with his wife was at a picnic at Micke Grove Park in 1967.
He played baseball at University of the Pacific and for the Lodi Guild Winemasters in the 1960s. One of his teammates was Erv Hatzenbuhler, who was a catcher and coach for the Winemasters at the time. In those days, Hatzenbuhler was better known as a baseball coach than for the fame he later achieved as the long-time football coach at Galt High, Maple said.
He was also close to the late Tony Zupo, a long-time Winemasters coach.
Posted: Saturday, May 19, 2012 12:00 am
Within a year, visitors to Micke Grove Zoo will see some very social and talkative gibbons and several more animal species. Within five years, the south Lodi zoo will have even more new animals, and the eastern end of the zoo will no longer look like an unfinished construction site, as it does today.
A very energetic zoological society plans to make the county-owned zoo in south Lodi a more exciting place than it's ever been. They say the secret is to privatize the zoo rather than plead with San Joaquin County for tax dollars that are going to the sheriff's office, San Joaquin General Hospital, Stockton Metropolitan Airport, social services and the proverbial potholes on county roads.
Saturday, May 19, 2012 12:00 am.