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.
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.”
And the changes have been drastic during Rodrigue’s 25-year tenure, from the handling of animals to updates in the zoo’s facilities.
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.
He eventually became the executive director and thanks the community for their interest in contributing to the Ecomuseum Zoo’s success.
“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.