From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2011:
HONOLULU–-Former Los Angeles and San Francisco Zoo director Manuel Mollinedo, 64, was on December 16, 2010 introduced as the new director of the Honolulu Zoo.
Mollinedo, then heading the Los Angeles Parks & Recreation Department, with no background in zoo work, was in September 1995 drafted to run the Los Angeles Zoo on an interim basis. Several of the animal exhibits were frequent targets of protest. The American Zoo Association had given the zoo a year to make improvements or lose accreditation. By year’s end Mollinedo was credited by the AZA and the Los Angeles city council with achieving an unexpectedly quick turnaround, winning over some of the zoo’s leading critics. Made zoo director on a permanent basis, Mollinedo introduced a series of ambitious upgrades to most of the major Los Angeles Zoo exhbits, but came under criticism after a Komodo dragon bit a celebrity guess in 2001. Read more