Quick Click … From the William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History, Aug. 18, 2016

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djn-2003-08-22-0-035Since 1883, one of the great attractions in Metropolitan Detroit — especially in the summer — is the Detroit Zoo (or, to be precise, the “Detroit Zoological Institute”). It is a world-class zoo with a global reputation for innovative exhibits and programming, along with the best care and consideration for exotic animals, birds, butterflies, reptiles and many other species. Just consider the state-of-the-art Polk Penguin Conservation Center that opened in April.

The zoo is a great place for a family excursion. I think I speak for many of us in Detroit when I say we feel privileged to have such an attraction in our community. Indeed, when I was growing up in Detroit, whenever our out-of-town families visited with all my cousins, the zoo was usually one of our prime destinations.

Since 1993, Ron Kagan has led the zoo. During his 23 years as executive director, the zoo has developed exhibits and modern habitats for polar bears, amphibians, wolves and penguins, and promoted the adaptation of visual technology.

I recently discovered an early story on Ron from the Aug. 22, 2003, issue of the JN. At the time, he may have been one of only two Jewish zoo directors in America and, most likely, the only zoo director to have served in the IDF.

Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.

By Mike Smith, DJN Foundation Archivist

 

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