COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The man who led Riverbanks Zoo and Garden for decades says it's now time to step down and retire.
Columbia native Satch Krantz is the longest serving zoo director in the nation. The Clemson graduate began his time at Riverbanks in 1973 as supervisor of the zoo's animal hospital.Three years later, he was promoted to executive director.
"The journey has been incredible," Krantz said. "In the beginning, the Zoo's future was at many times in doubt but with increasing public support and opportunities for development, we began to gain momentum, and our progress has not slowed. I cannot think of a better time for Riverbanks to transition into new leadership."
Krantz is one of only three American zoo directors to have served as president of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums as well as president of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
"I have been blessed with a wonderfully rewarding career," Krantz said. "All along I've had a supportive governing authority, an incredibly talented staff and a community that cares deeply for its zoo. I've also had the opportunity to work with many great professionals throughout my 44 years in this often wacky business."
Krantz' retirement will be effective this June.