The University of Findlay will host Jeff Sailer, executive director of the Toledo Zoo, for a public presentation at 2 p.m. Monday, April 14, in Old Main, Ritz Auditorium. Sailer also will be speaking to the Rotary Club at noon that day at the Findlay Country Club.
Sailer will present “Toledo Zoo Programs: Opportunities Across the Region” as part of the University’s Concert and Lecture Series.
During his first year as director at the Toledo Zoo, Sailer took on the new $25 million project to reconstruct and renovate the zoo’s aquarium, which will include a main feature in the rotunda, a large 96,000-gallon tank with 15,000 vibrant tropical fish. The aquarium, which will open in May, also will feature diving demonstrations and a $3.5 million African penguin exhibit, Penguin Beach.
Sailer’s plans for the zoo also include getting the zoo more involved in local and worldwide conservation efforts. He and the Toledo Zoo team have been working to save a species of frog that lives in a waterfall in Tanzania, as well as a species of salamander that has dwindled due to polluted streams.
Locally, the zoo is working on a project to restore native habitats and has been involved in an outreach program to obtain a count of native spotted turtles in the area whose populations have greatly declined due to its natural habitat being destroyed.
Sailer also is leading the zoo in finding opportunities to expand educational offerings and partnerships with schools.
Prior to accepting the position in Toledo, Sailer was the director of city zoos/facility director with the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, overseeing the Central Park, Prospect Park and Queens zoos.
Sailer also served as the curator of birds for the Miami Metrozoo, where he applied his early aviary experience by helping to plan and develop a 1.5-acre Asian-themed aviary and building up a world-class bird collection. As part of his avian research work, Sailer participated in several expeditions to Papua New Guinea and the Kingdom of Tonga.
Sailer earned a master’s degree in zoology from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Ball State University. He is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and has served on a number of advisory groups and committees.