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Fresno Zoo's Longtime Leader Announces Retirement
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 4 years ago on
March 6, 2020

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After 11 years of having elephants and giraffes as coworkers, Scott Barton is hanging up his safari hat as CEO of the Fresno Chaffee Zoo.
Barton announced his retirement this week.
“I am very proud of our accomplishments over the past 11 years and am always impressed by the remarkable support for Fresno Chaffee Zoo from our community,” Barton said in a news release. “Our team’s mission has always been to provide the Central Valley with a sustainable, world-class zoo experience. I’m confident the next generation of leadership will continue this vision at the Zoo.”
The zoo named Barton CEO in 2009. He will stay through the fall to provide a transition to his successor.
Last year, more than 819,000 guests passed through the turnstiles. The zoo boasts 18,000 membership households.

Measure Z Leads to New Exhibits


“I am very proud of our accomplishments over the past 11 years and am always impressed by the remarkable support for Fresno Chaffee Zoo from our community.”Scott Barton, retiring CEO
Barton oversaw the implementation of the original Measure Z in 2004 and helped lead in its extension in 2014. Voters approved the county sales tax each time, directing one-tenth of a cent for zoo projects.
The zoo delivered with such exhibits as Sea Lion Cove, African Adventure, and the Dino Dig.
The Fresno Chaffee Zoo says Measure Z has raised $110 million over the last ten years.

Praise from All Around

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand commended Barton’s tenure.
“Scott has truly transformed Fresno Chaffee Zoo into one of California’s leading zoos and a first-class experience. A strong leader with a vibrant vision, Scott is deeply committed to the welfare of animals in his charge and he’s leaving big shoes to fill,” Brand said.
The zoo, which is run by the non-profit  Fresno Chaffee Zoo Corporation, says a nationwide search will be conducted for Barton’s replacement.

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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