When Director Jean Benchimol was hired to run the zoo, she told the Mayor that she would need to rehab the entire zoo complex. There wasn’t really money in the budget to support such a large-scale project at Capron, so he called the relevant department heads together to see what Attleboro could do with the city resources that we have.

Led by Benchimol’s vision — The Capron Park Zoo was transformed. The pond was drained, the fountain was fixed, lemur islands were built and the pond was filled, all with the help of city services. Similarly, in the Zoo and the surrounding park, overgrowth was cut back, new plantings were put in and the zoo and park became the gem that it is today.

But more than that, the work done allowed it to be re-accredited. Accreditation means that the zoo meets the highest standards of care for its animals, giving us access to grants and the ability to host rare animals such as the White Lion that has become its hallmark. Financially, although, salaries for the zoo remain in the city budget, the operational budget of the zoo is fully self-funded, drawing crowds in record numbers each year. It is a true testament to what can be accomplished with a great vision and the partnership of all city departments.

Smiles all around after Capron Park Zoo earns accreditation
BY GEORGE W. RHODES/SUN CHRONICLE STAFF Sep 26, 2006