About Les Whitt


Robert Leslie "Les" Whitt
August 22, 1951- August 16, 2008

Leslie Whitt, known to family, friends, and colleagues as “Les,” devoted his life and career to the community of Alexandria, Louisiana and the Alexandria Zoo. As zoo director, he was a mentor to young zoo professionals, an active proponent of improving captive animal care, and a strong supporter of international wildlife conservation efforts, particularly those involving endangered species from the Neotropics. He was a founding member of Zoo Conservation Outreach Group (ZCOG), an AZA Conservation Partner organization dedicated to providing technical, material, and financial support to Latin American zoos and aquariums, and served on the group’s Board of Directors from September 1996 until his passing in August 2008.

In his memory, ZCOG and the San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium have partnered to create the Les Whitt Memorial Award. The annual award, which becomes part of ZCOG’s Conservation Scholarship Program, will provide a Latin American zoo or aquarium professional with full scholarship funding to attend the AZA’s Advances in Animal Keeping course.

ZCOG’s Conservation Scholarship Program provides funding to Latin American zoo and aquarium professionals interested in participating in international conferences, workshops, and training courses. It is designed to help build professional capacity in Latin American zoological institutions and assist in the training and development of the region’s future conservation leaders. Since 2000, the program has awarded over $100,000.00 USD in scholarship funding to over one hundred zoo, aquarium, and wildlife conservation professionals from fourteen different countries throughout the Latin America and the Caribbean Basin.

For further details contact Daniel Hilliard, Executive Director, Zoo Conservation Outreach Group:
E-Mail: dhilliard@auduboninstitute.org
Phone: (301) 562-0777

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