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David Rodrigue on 25 years at Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue’s Ecomuseum Zoo

Click to play video: 'Running the Ecomuseum: balancing biology and business' Running the Ecomuseum: balancing biology and business
WATCH ABOVE: David Rodrigue joined Global’s Laura Casella to talk about working at the Ecomuseum Zoo for 25 years – Oct 23, 2017

This year marks David Rodrigue’s 25th anniversary working at the Ecomuseum Zoo in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.

Rodrigue, the ecomuseum’s executive director, joined Global’s Laura Casella on Monday to talk about the zoo’s evolution through a quarter century.

The zoo opened in 1988 as a focal point of research, education and conservation activities for the Saint-Lawrence Valley Natural History Society.

READ MORE: Ecomuseum’s animals awake from hibernation, signalling start of spring

Its mission is to preserve Quebec wildlife and Rodrigue says it’s important to reconnect humans with nature, one of the main factors in his decision to work there.

“It was a passion call for me, I literally fell in love with the place the first time I saw the place,” Rodrigue said about joining the team after finishing university as a 20-year-old. “It was the mission, it was what I could see in the future for the Ecomuseum Zoo.”

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And the changes have been drastic during  Rodrigue’s 25-year tenure, from the handling of animals to updates in the zoo’s facilities.

 

The Ecomuseum Zoo preserves animal species from the Greater Montreal Area.
It was awarded the Thomas R. Baines award by Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums in 2011.
It is the largest outdoor zoo on the island of Montreal.
In 2015, it was awarded the Animal Enrichment Award by Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums.
They host an event as its black bears awake from hibernation every spring.
The Ecomuseum Zoo has been open 364 days a year since 1996.

He’s worked in various roles over the years, such as animal keeping, developing educational programs and conservation efforts for Quebec’s endangered species and wildlife.

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READ MORE: Biologists work to save Quebec’s ‘most urban’ snake as construction booms 

He eventually became the executive director and thanks the community for their interest in contributing to the Ecomuseum Zoo’s success.

READ MORE: Ecomuseum Zoo welcomes back crowd-pleasing river otter with new exhibit

“We raised over $6 million privately in the last four or five years, which we reinvested into the well being of our animals,”Rodrigue said. “It’s a very positive message from our community.”

The Ecomuseum Zoo is located on Ste-Marie Road near the des Pins exit from Highway 40 in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.

 

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