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New year brings changes at Aldergrove zoo

Greater Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove appoints new management, plans to build Animal Care Centre
Thomas and Jody stand next to Charlie

The Greater Vancouver Zoo has new management with the appointments of managing director Thomas Jung and general manager Jody Henderson.

Thomas Jung is an architectural/industrial design engineer with many years experience designing complex buildings, as well as extensive knowledge in the mechanical and manufacturing processes.

Jung, who was born and educated in the United States, has worked abroad, is a former Marine, speaks several languages and has been living in Canada for the last nine years. He has a B.S. in mechanical engineering, masters in architectural engineering and is a professional engineer.

His primary focus will be the future planning, development and growth of the Greater Vancouver Zoo.

“My lifelong dream is building a natural history museum for everyone to enjoy and learn from. I always have had a love for all animals, so the zoo is a natural fit for me,” said Jung.

Jody Henderson has spent the majority of her career involved in the tourism industry and is very active in the volunteer community. She has travelled extensively, been exposed to a variety of cultures and languages, and her work experiences include working onboard cruise lines, hotel sales, corporate travel sales, fundraising, special events for a variety of non-profit organizations and most recently the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Henderson was drawn to the zoo 10 years ago as a volunteer due to her passion for animals. After four years she was hired as the marketing & communications manager.

Going forward with her promotion to the general manager, her primary focus will be on all public relations for the Greater Vancouver Zoo, such as continuing to build solid personal relationships in the local community, with the media, tourism associations and a variety of business organizations.

“Everyone who works at the zoo is here because of their love of animals. Our personal desire is to inspire our guests to learn and connect with animals, by creating a better future for the animals in the wild and future generations to enjoy,” said Henderson.

There is a lot of activity at the Greater Vancouver Zoo this year including going through their accreditation process, which entails a complete inspection by the Canadian Association of Zoo & Aquariums (CAZA). The CAZA accreditation process is “a publicly recognized symbol signifying excellence in, and commitment to, collection management, veterinary care, ethics, physical facilities, staffing, conservation, education, safety and security, finance, and supportive bodies.”

In order to maintain the CAZA accreditation, zoos or aquariums must go through a rigorous inspection every five years and plenty of preparation needs to be carried out before the inspection is completed.

The zoo is also currently in the process of building a new Animal Care Centre. The new building will house the zoo's animal quarantine for new arrivals, a hospital for the treatment of sick and injured animals and minor surgery and commissary facilities for food preparation and nutrition. The new facility will incorporate advanced technology that will enable more on-site treatment of animals with speed and accuracy, which will reduce stress on the animals and staff alike.

To learn more about the zoo visit: or better yet come visit in person. Since 1970 the Greater Vancouver Zoo has been dedicated to conservation, preservation and protection of endangered species.