A long time member of the magnetic Hill Zoo…who has played a big role in the growth of the facility…and also encouraged a love of animals….is set to retire next week..
Bruce Dougan, is the Current Manager for the Zoo, but Wednesday December 20th is his last day.
Dougan began working at Zoos in 1970 in Ontario and he started here in Moncton in 1989. He has a long thank you list of individuals who he says have helped to make the zoo the success it is today, “I think we have made some great strides in approving the Zoo from what it was 28 years ago. It has been a lightning fast 28 years, that’s for sure. There are so many people to thank, and so many people have been involved in this renovation and the growth of the Zoo. I am so grateful to all of them.”
Bruce says some of his fondest memories are of the early years and working directly with the animals, “Building bonds with many of the animals that I have worked with. Tomar was an example of that here. I don’t get to work with animals as much as I used to, and I miss that for sure. I’m in more of an administrative role now, so it’s not quite the same. I certainly have enjoyed my career in the Zoo community and have enjoyed everyone who has worked along with me in that. You get to know everyone across the country in the Zoo community. There are some really great individuals and very helpful people who have assisted me in my career.”
Bruce played a big role in a memorial and tribute to Tomar the Tiger, who passed away in 2007. It now stands at the Zoo for all of the visitors to enjoy.
The Zoo had a record number of visitors last year and they are on par to do it again this year. He has assisted in many renovations, and expansions at the Zoo. Work is currently underway, to expand the Zoo even further.
As for the future, Bruce has a road trip to Ontario planned with his wife, to celebrate his brothers 80th birthday. He will spend New Years in Montreal on the way there. The only other plans for the future so far are, “Just to relax and to watch the Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup is my next goal. It’ll happen someday.”
As for who will fill Bruce’s shoes, the City of Moncton is currently searching for his successor.