Austin Zoo leader steps down in wake of investigation

Posted at 5:35 PM, Mar 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-12 18:35:56-04

AUSTIN, TEXAS (AP) — The board president of the embattled Austin Zoo has stepped down following a newspaper's investigation that detailed leaders' unwillingness to euthanize suffering animals and retaliation against zookeepers who raised concerns.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that the zoo announced Monday that Patti Clark will no longer be a voting board member, but she'll remain the nonprofit's executive director. Clark has faced criticism since the newspaper's January investigation into allegations of mismanagement and animal mistreatment.

The story came after six zookeepers wrote to the zoo's board last summer, requesting that the same person not be allowed to serve as both zoo director and board president.

Zookeepers say Clark retaliated against those suspected of being involved in the letter.

Three zookeepers were fired last month. Officials declined to say whether the firings were related to the investigation.

Information from: Austin American-Statesman, http://www.statesman.com