Coming from Seattle, Washington, the Gulf Breeze Zoo’s new director Steve Jagielski isn’t quite used to Florida summers.
“I’m learning to tell the difference between two-shirt and three-shirt days,” he said with a laugh.
Jagielski comes to Gulf Breeze with an extensive background, including working at zoos in Nepal, the Bronx and Pennsylvania to name a few.
Meet some other new arrivals to the zoo »
Right now, Jagielski is preparing the zoo to host the Zoological Association of America conference in November.
On the new director’s to-do list is a little bit of sprucing up. Some buildings have already undergone a new roof and fresh coat of paint. Jagielski is also working to incorporate new fencing.
"For a zoo, anything older than 10 years is antique," he explained. "As the zoo approaches its 30th year, it needs a few things to keep the standards up."
The local zoo has certainly gone through hardships, but Jagielski said he’s looking forward.
“The best way to support the zoo is obviously by attending, but also by keeping your eyes open for animals,” he said. “That means not driving over 20 mph on Navarre Beach during shorebird nesting season and cleaning up trash on the beach.”
Contact Daily News Staff Writer Jennie McKeon at 850-315-4434 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follower her on Twitter @JennieMnwfdn.