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Cameron Park Zoo Director stepping down after 45 years

Johnny Binder has been with the City of Waco for 45 years, leaving a lasting legacy behind him.

WACO, Texas — Johnny Binder, Director of the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, has announced his retirement after a long career with the zoo and the City of Waco.

Binder will officially retire on Mar. 31, 2023 after 45 years of service.

Binder joined the Cameron Park Zoo team in 1978 as a General Curator, eventually working his way up to Zoo Director, a position he has held since 2022.

The City of Waco credits Binder as being an instrumental part of many expansion projects throughout the zoo, which they say have been a huge part of the zoo's success.

“The City of Waco thanks Johnny for his dedication to the Cameron Park Zoo," said Waco City Manager Bradley Ford. "Johnny has been a huge asset with his knowledge and expertise in sustaining quality educational and conservation efforts while maintaining a world-renowned institution. Thank you for your impact on the Cameron Park Zoo.”

Before joining the Cameron Park Zoo, Binder served as an accreditation inspector for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, working on many global conservation efforts.

The City of Waco said that they will begin a national recruitment search to find a new Director for the Zoo. In the meantime, Deputy Director Duane Hill will take over the reins as Interim Director.

The City of Waco voiced their support for Hill as he moves forward with zoo operations, and thanked Binder for his many years of service and dedication to the Cameron Park Zoo.

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