Former zoo director Jim Anderson honored with permanent plaque

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The Board of Directors of the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo unveiled a plaque Wednesday morning honoring the legacy Jim Anderson’s many years of service and leadership for the Zoo that will remain on zoo grounds permanently.

Anderson served as executive director from 1994 to 2020.

Board President, Chuck Surak said, “I have known Jim for many years and can tell you what a
complete joy it has been to work alongside him as a Board Member. He has a habit of making
the work with the Zoo so fun and engaging that many members have been involved with the
Zoo for decades. In fact, this is my second time around as Board President.”

The Board would agree that behind all the fun, is someone who worked tirelessly for more than
four decades to make the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo one of the very best in the nation.

Everything you see and experience at the Zoo, has his fingerprints on it.

Though Jim has retired from his everyday involvement at the Zoo, the Board and staff wanted
to honor his legacy with a plaque. The plaque inscription reads:

“During his time as the Executive Zoo Director, Jim’s vision and commitment helped to
transform Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo into a world-class zoo. According to Jim, this Zoo exists
for, and because of our great community – every exhibit, upgrade, animal, and pathway is
made possible through the generous support of the community, sponsors, and donors. Fort
Wayne Children’s Zoo stands as a testament to Jim’s passion for families, animals, and nature.”

The legacy plaque can be found in the Z.O.&O Railroad plaza, a place near and dear to Jim’s
heart, as it’s the place where Jim met his wife, Linda more than 25 years ago while working at
the Zoo.

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