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Zoo official quits after difficult few months

The beleaguered Calgary Zoo has suffered another blow as a top official has resigned effective immediately.

The beleaguered Calgary Zoo has suffered another blow as a top official has resigned effective immediately.

Cathy Gaviller, director of conservation, tendered her resignation effective Tuesday and Calgary Zoo spokesperson Simon Scott said the decision was hers alone.

“It is a personal matter and it was her decision. It is a huge loss for the organization and a huge loss for the zoo,” he said.

Scott said the zoo is losing a “wonderful” member with over 20 years of experience.

“At the same time, we have to move on and see this loss as an opportunity for a new way of thinking. I think it’s a signal a change is coming to the zoo.”

Scott said the zoo would work to find an interim replacement before finding a permanent solution.

Gaviller said in a prepared statement: “I am very proud of what we achieved at the Calgary Zoo and of my contribution. The past few months have been very challenging for the organization and for me personally. I care deeply for the Calgary Zoo and hope my decision can help the zoo move forward confidently and begin a new chapter in animal stewardship.”

Gaviller’s resignation comes just days after a near gorilla escape and following years of highly publicized incidents, including several animal deaths.