TYLER, Texas (KETK) — The Caldwell Zoo is currently in the process of making changes to their leadership… and to the zoo itself.

Hayes Caldwell, the zoo’s Executive Director for more than 50 years, is transitioning to the role of President and CEO of the Caldwell Foundation. His longtime Assistant Director, Scott Maddox, has reportedly taken the position of Chief Operating Officer, leading day-to-day operations.

Mr. Caldwell also announced that the new President and CEO of the zoo will be Steve Marshall, who is currently Senior Vice President of Operations at the Audubon Zoo and Park in New Orleans. Marshall has also served as Director of the El Paso Zoo, Chief Operating Officer of Zoo Atlanta, a former AZA Board Member and instructor at the AZA Management School. He will be transitioning into his new role at Caldwell in April.

The Caldwell Zoo will also be conducting a “complete make over” of the South American section of the zoo, which is slated to be completed by mid-2023. Mr. Caldwell additionally announced that the zoo is working with Natural Encounters, Inc. to work with the animal care providers that will bring new and consistent animal training aimed at improving the care and welfare of the resident animals. It is also said that this training will enhance the visitor experience with improved and additional animal encounters and programs.

Beyond these changes, the zoo is also in the process of updating their master plan that looks toward the improvement of the North American section, as well as having a “grand celebration” for the zoo’s 75th anniversary.

“I am thankful for all of you to go on this journey with us!” Caldwell said.