Who can believe that a year has passed since Luis Padilla, DVM Dipl. ACZM, became President and CEO of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium? Dr. Padilla is a collaborative leader who has devoted his life and career to animal welfare. During 2023, he has expertly guided the Zoo in its continued quest to inspire, educate, and engage the community to aptly serve as lifelong conservation champions for animals and their habitats. It has been a pleasure to see all that Luis and the team at Omaha's Zoo have achieved.
This last year has given Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium plenty to celebrate, from accolades and community support to animal births and conservation landmarks. This March, USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice Awards ranked the Zoo as the Best Zoo; the Asian Highlands as the Best Zoo Exhibit for the fourth consecutive year; and the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park as the Best Safari Park for three years in a row. Being voted #1 across each of the three categories speaks not only to the quality of the visitor experience but also to the love and support the community has for this extraordinary institution. In June, the Zoo collaborated with the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership and the Arbor Day Foundation to plant the six-millionth tree as part of an effort to reconnect fragmented forests in Madagascar and reforest important lemur habitats.
Congratulations on an incredible first year, Luis; we can't wait to see what is ahead!