Zoo Miami named a new director late Friday after its longtime leader retired.
Carol Kruse, the zoo’s assistant director from 2003 until 2011, has been named to the top spot.
She follows Eric Stephens, who was director for 17 years and an employee at the zoo, located at 12400 SW 152nd St., for a total of 35 years before retiring.
Kruse has been an employee of the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department since 1990. From April of 2011 until February 2015, she was the department’s assistant director of administration.
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According to a press release, her top priorities will include ensuring animal well-being, focusing on conservation and stewardship, improving guest experiences and solidifying long-term financial strength.
“My role is to recruit and retain the best talent to help Zoo Miami achieve its strategic goals, and to help mentor and empower the next generation of zoo leaders and conservation stewards,” Kruse said in a statement. “We must focus on continuous improvement — always searching for how to get better and how to stay relevant in a rapidly changing world.”