Inspector of the Year: Animal Management and Husbandry

Dale Leeds, Curator of Large Mammals, Denver Zoo

Dale Leeds at the Denver ZooDale is currently the Curator of Large Mammals at Denver Zoo.  He has worked for multiple AZA-accredited facilities in a variety of capacities for more than thirty years.  He began as a volunteer and then a keeper at the Toledo Zoo in 1984.  In 1989 he accepted the position of Area Supervisor at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.  He was subsequently promoted to General Curator, a position he held for 6 years.  In 1998 Dale became a member of the Denver Zoo animal management team.  During his time with Denver Zoo, Dale has filled a variety of roles, ultimately curating all of the mammal areas and the nutrition center at one time or another.  He has a strong interest in, and has been very involved with, exhibit design and construction.  This includes the design, construction, and management of Predator Ridge at Denver Zoo, which was awarded Exhibit of the Year by AZA.  Dale has participated in many AZA animal programs, including the tapir TAG steering committee and the elephant TAG/SSP steering committee, and he currently serves as the husbandry advisor to the lion SSP.  He has been an accreditation inspector for many years and has participated on over 20 inspection teams.  Dale has a deep appreciation for the contribution zoos make in conservation, animal management, education, and so much more. 


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