WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – The City of Waco has announced the new director of the Cameron Park Zoo.

The City says that Brendan Wiley has been chosen as as the director, effective November 27. A review committee led by members of the City of Waco, the Cameron Park Zoological Society and a member of another AZA-accredited zoo completed an extensive search process – including a thorough evaluation of well-qualified candidates.

The committee found that Brendan’s skills, experiences, and expertise prepared him to successfully guide the Cameron Park Zoo in its next phase of growth.

The City says that Brendan started his career in the zoo field as a zookeeper at the Kansas City Zoo in 1994, where he worked with a wide variety of animals – including birds, sea lions and elephants – and was responsible for about half of the 212-acre zoo’s staff and animal collection. He left the Kansas City Zoo in 2005 to become the Executive Director of Animal Haven, a nonprofit animal shelter on the Kansas side of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. There, he was responsible for fundraising, fiscal responsibility and organizational optimization through programmatic development.

Most recently, Brendan serves as the Director of the Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center. Since his arrival at the zoo in 2010, attendance has grown by 159 percent, the operating budget has grown by 267 percent and during the period between 2017-2022, $21 million of infrastructure projects have been developed. Brendan also supported their recent re-accreditation with AZA.

For more information about the Cameron Park Zoo and the Zoological & Botanical Society, you can visit www.cameronparkzoo.com.