Community remembers former zoo director


The Topeka Zoo remembered a former leader and said their final goodbyes. Gary Clarke was the zoo’s first ever director in 1962 and died last Friday.

Clarke was the inspiration of the zoo’s “Camp Cowabunga” because of the many safaris he went on in Africa.

His sister says the zoo was important to their entire family.

“It did carry over to his family life. Everyone was involved, we all visited the zoo a lot and visited his friends. It was his life,” said Gary’s sister Denise Spence.

Gary died at 79 years old.

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