Dallas Zoo president-CEO Gregg Hudson dies following battle with cancer
Gregg Hudson, the president and CEO of the Dallas Zoo has died. According to a post on the zoo's Facebook page, he passed away after a "brief but valiant battle" with cancer. He was 64.
The post further says that he passed away late last week.
"He was a friend and a mentor to so many, not only here in Dallas, but across the country and around the world," the post said.
Hudson was the Dallas Zoo’s president and CEO since 2006, and led the zoo through the creation of a public/private partnership with the city of Dallas in 2009.
He also served on the national board of directors for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), as well as on the boards of Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund (Rwanda) and the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center (Democratic Republic of the Congo).
Prior to the Dallas Zoo, Gregg spent 10 years as Executive Director and CEO of the Fort Worth Zoo; then more than five years as the President and CEO of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden; before returning to the DFW area to lead the Dallas Zoo.
During his tenure, the zoo opened the 11-acre "Giants of the Savanna" habitat in May 2010.
He was also an instrumental figure in the Dallas Zoo's 2016 removal of 18 elephants from Swaziland, in partnership with the Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas, and Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo in Nebraska — a move that drew condemnation from conservationists around the world. One elephant died in the process.
The attention inspired an international organization to enact a resolution banning African elephants caught in the wild from being sold and shipped to countries outside of Africa.
Only recently, Hudson was in the public eye when he appeared at a press conference on January 23, following a series of incidents at the zoo, including a clouded leopard getting out of its cage, the death of a vulture, and two tamarin monkeys that were taken from the zoo, then recovered; a man has since been arrested.
The family requests that donations be made to the Dallas Zoo or to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.