User talk:IllaZilla

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Earthless[edit]

Moved to User talk:LazyBastardGuy: I didn't quite see your banner at the top, I apologize

A barnstar for you![edit]

Writers Barnstar Hires.png The Writer's Barnstar
...to thank you for your awesome expansion of San Diego Zoo Global. As you indicated on the talk page, there is more to tell, and I look forward to your continued contributions there. MelanieN (talk) 15:16, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, MelanieN. The acknowledgement is much appreciated :) --IllaZilla (talk) 15:20, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Just so you know - your work at that article has inspired me to start working on an article about Dr. Fred Baker, something I have been intending to do for years. I'm stealing some of your references. 0;-D --MelanieN (talk) 22:43, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
By all means, steal away ;) I'm learning about most of these individuals for the first time, and they're pretty interesting! --IllaZilla (talk) 06:34, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I also suggest starting an article on Dr. Charles Schroeder, who founded the Wild Animal Park, if you're interested. He also held a number other positions within the zoological world, including the San Diego Zoo and Bronx Zoo, and was president of the San Diego Natural History Society, the AAZPA, and the International Union of Directors of Zoological Gardens. Some sources are in the SDZG article but I'm sure more are available elsewhere. --IllaZilla (talk) 21:05, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
That's a great idea. I'm surprised he doesn't already have one. I enjoy biography (I wrote the Harry Wegeforth and Belle Benchley articles) and love the Zoo. I'll see what I can do, not right away but soon. Yes, there are some interesting people involved; Kurt Benirschke, founder of CRES and the Frozen Zoo, has had an article for years. I've met him once or twice, he is one of the smartest people I have ever met. --MelanieN (talk) 22:28, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Oh, man - I just took a look at the Benirschke article and it needs a lot of work. So many articles, so little time! --MelanieN (talk) 22:34, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Just so you know, I did complete the article about Fred Baker, and it will be on the front page DYK in the next 24 hours. --MelanieN (talk) 16:26, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Awesome! Great work! I've gotten my hands on It Began with a Roar (bio & memoir of Wegeforth) and Mister Zoo (biography of Schroeder) and intend to use those as sources as I continue. I'd like to get some of Benchley's books as well. Right now I'm trying to sort through the various awards the organization has received. --IllaZilla (talk) 16:40, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Also, I was at the Zoo last week and took some photos of historically-interesting things (older exhibits, various dedication plaques, etc.) that I intend to add for illustration. I had hoped to get a photo of the plaque honoring Wegeforth that I think is still on the entry of the Wegeforth Bowl, but the whole Bowl was closed and surrounded by construction fences as it's being renovated in preparation for the Zoo's 100th anniversary. There's also a plaque somewhere honoring the founding Society members, but I think it might be on the Bowl as well. Signage indicated the Bowl should re-open sometime this summer. --IllaZilla (talk) 16:56, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the link to the Schroeder book (written, I see, by Doug Myers, his successor as Zoo director). It Began with a Roar is a fun read, partly because Wegeforth himself was such an interesting character (we had some interesting doctors in those days! Have you read the article about Charlotte Baker?), and partly because the co-author Neil Morgan was a very accomplished and popular journalist here. --MelanieN (talk) 17:46, 19 June 2015 (UTC) P.S. My local library had Mister Zoo on the shelf so I have it now. I guess that means I have to write the article within the next three weeks! --MelanieN (talk) 19:05, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
I got the 1991 edition of Roar that has an introduction by Schroeder and a new foreword by Morgan. I hadn't heard of Baker before, but now that I've looked her up she seems interesting. I bought Mister Zoo (at the Zoo, ironically) so I'm happy to get cracking on a bio, without the 3 week window. Unless you're itching to write it, that is. --IllaZilla (talk) 00:41, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Be my guest! I have plenty else on my plate. I started assembling a few notes, but I got sidetracked into trying to make a list of the directors of the Zoo; not as easy a task as it sounds! You can see the list I found in my sandbox - at the top under "Draft article" - my sandbox is awfully cluttered. I believe there were multiple short-term directors before Belle Benchley (apparently Dr. Wegeforth was not an easy man to work for) so there are some gaps in the record there. (Back in the 1920s there was a Zoo director named Tom Faulconer, I wonder if he is an ancestor of our mayor! I might ask him!) I was interested to learn that in 2013 (without any publicity) Doug Meyers moved from Zoo Director into the position of President and CEO Of of SDZG, leaving a (subordinate?) Zoo director and a (new?) Safari Park director. --MelanieN (talk) 01:22, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Great minds think alike! I also have been thinking of compiling a list of zoo directors, and of presidents of SDZG. You're right; there were a few short-term directors in the early days, Frank Buck briefly among them. I think failure to find a director who could meet Wegeforth's standards may have been why they appointed Benchley as Executive Secretary with authority over the day-to-day ops of the Zoo. Eventually she was the de facto director, so Wegeforth changed her title to that. I believe Faulconer was an ancestor of our mayor, but I don't remember where I read that. You're also right about Meyers' move, though I don't know the details. --IllaZilla (talk) 03:28, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Meyers' move might have been even earlier: This indicates that he was CEO/Executive Director of the Zoological Society in 2009. --IllaZilla (talk) 22:59, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Then was he ALSO director of the San Diego Zoo? Had both titles until recently? Maybe it was part of the recent rebranding, to separate the titles which used to be almost synonymous. --MelanieN (talk) 01:15, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

That's possible; I have no idea. The SDZG history timeline also mentions him being CEO in 2007: "CEO Douglas Myers is confirmed to the National Museum and Library Services Board." Maybe he held both positions simultaneously, though from the timeline I don't see that anyone else ever did that. It doesn't seem to mention his successor as Zoo Director. --IllaZilla (talk) 01:24, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

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