Message to Our Community - Conservators Center
31 December 2018
10 January 2019

Message to Our Community


We at the Conservators Center cannot adequately express our gratitude for the outpouring of support from our community during the last week, as well as the kind messages of support from other zoological facilities from around the world. We are equally thankful for this editorial in the Burlington Times-News.

The loss of Alex in this tragedy has impacted all of us in ways we cannot articulate. Alex had a passion for animals that was evident to anyone who had the privilege of knowing her. Losing Alex so early in her career is a loss for the entire zoological and conservation community. The support within these circles is a testament to the impact she already made. As we continue our mission of education and conservation, we do so with the memory of her in our hearts.

We at the Center had the honor of knowing Matthai for his entire 14 years of life. He was an extraordinary lion and the people who met him walked away with a newfound appreciation for his entire species. We are heartbroken to say goodbye to him, and we offer our heartfelt condolences for all of those whose lives he changed.

The Times-News editorial questions the Center’s transparency and involvement of lawyers. Our lawyers are assisting us in the aftermath of this event in ensuring the Center’s proper response under state and federal laws. We have been fortunate enough to have the counsel of Dr. Nancy Halpern, an attorney and veterinarian who formerly served as the State Veterinarian for the state of New Jersey. Our top priority has always been, and remains, the wellbeing of the local community, guests, volunteers, staff, and animal residents. Our lawyers are assisting us in protecting that wellbeing and protecting our ability to continue providing our animals the very best care.

Reviews into the incident that took place on December 30th are ongoing, and we continue to fully cooperate with all regulatory agencies alongside the coordination of our own internal investigation.

We hope that the conclusion of these reviews provide answers that we can learn from and share with other facilities in an effort to help prevent a tragedy like this here or elsewhere. It is our intention to be as transparent as possible as more information becomes available. Until then, it would be inappropriate and irresponsible to provide incomplete or premature information.

Until further information becomes available, we will continue to lean on our amazing Conservators Center family. Thank you again, from the bottom of our hearts.