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Longtime South Coast zoo leader to retire


Rich Block is stepping down as Santa Barbara Zoo President and CEO. He led a number of zoo renovation and expansion projects.

The longtime head of the Santa Barbara Zoo, who led a number of renovation and expansion projects, has announced he's going to retire.

Rich Block has been the Santa Barbara Zoo's President and CEO for more than a quarter of a century.

Under his tenure, the Zoo was accredited to work with rare California Condors, developed an Australian outback visitor area, and created a new visitor's pavilion area.

A search is underway for a successor. He's planning to step down in January 2025.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.