Inspector of the Year: Animal Management and Husbandry

David Hagan, Curator, Indianapolis Zoo

For three decades, David Hagan has had a remarkable impact on the Indianapolis Zoo.  As Curator, he is responsible for the African plains and animal encounters biomes, which includes all bird and felid species at the zoo.  David’s lifelong love of animals began as a child when he joined an explorer scout post at the Louisville Zoo.  There, he was able to volunteer in the animal department, which led to years of volunteer service at Louisville Zoo through high school and college.  David received his degree in Biology from Eastern Kentucky University.  His first full-time position was as an animal keeper at the Indianapolis Zoo.  Over the years, he has held various positions with increasing responsibility, and he has overseen almost all areas within the zoo.  He has developed a strong interest in animal care and welfare, exhibit design, education, research and conservation.  David is experienced in the care of a wide variety of animals, but has worked the longest with elephants.  He has been involved in numerous elephant research activities, including data gathering on memory, visual acuity, cognition, physiology, and behavior. David has contributed to notable reproductive research that has resulted in six African elephant calf births through artificial insemination.  He has also assisted in the design, development, construction and opening of multiple exhibits.  David has participated as an accreditation inspector for many years, and is active in several AZA animal programs.  He currently serves as the Elephant TAG Vice-Chair, African Elephant SSP Coordinator and a member of the Lion SSP management group.


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