Dane County  
Minutes - Final Unless Amended by  
Henry Vilas Zoo Commission  
Who benefits? Who is burdened?  
Who does not have a voice at the table?  
How can policymakers mitigate unintended consequences?  
Wednesday, November 15, 2023  
7:30 AM  
A. Call To Order  
Others present: Ronda Schwetz, Joseph Darcangelo, Kristin Moala  
7 -  
B. Consideration of Minutes  
Attachments: 2023 MIN-396  
A motion was made by CASTILLO, seconded by JUSTUS, that the Minutes be  
approved. The motion carried by a voice vote.  
C. Action Items  
D. Presentations  
E. Reports to Committee  
Zoo Report:  
SCHWETZ provided an update on the 2024 budget. The County approved the budget and  
the Zoo is very excited to be getting a FTE .6 keeper position as well as 2 .6 zoo  
attendants thanks to an addition by Supervisor Ritt. The full time vet position also went  
through, which is historic for the Zoo and will expand on-grounds capacity. We have  
already been able to purchase new medical equipment and our vet is helping prioritize  
those purchases. The Zoo recently filled its vacant keeper position. Still trying to fill the  
lead vet tech position. There is a national shortage of vet techs right now.  
Capital projects - the Zoo works closely with Public Works for any projects that cost over  
$40k. Work on the Aviary is underway and renovating the penguin exhibit space is next in  
the queue.  
Animals - Our giraffe was successfully moved to Green Bay and is already fitting in nicely  
with the rest of their herd. We also have shipped several leaf-tailed geckos out to other  
institutions over the last few months. We are one of the few facilities successfully  
breeding them. We received a female capybara who is in quarantine right now. She will  
join the male capybara once she clears her health checks. We are scheduled to get two  
female rock hyrax in the coming weeks and are still working on getting a camel. We  
recently had 3 box turtles hatch. They are part of a DNR program and this is our first  
Events - Brew Lights is this Friday. Ticket sales are going well. Zoo Lights begins the  
day after Thanksgiving. The Zoo is also hosting its third Dream Lights, which is a night  
for kids facing health challenges.  
Operations - The Zoo is working on a strategic plan that will help shape the next 5 years  
of development. The Zoo will be able to share a draft in early 2024. Leadership is also  
working on core values with staff.  
Discussion ensued.  
F. Future Meeting Items and Dates  
The next meeting will be held in-person at the Zoo starting at 7:30am on Tuesday,  
January 9, 2024.  
G. Public Comment on Items not on the Agenda  
H. Such Other Business as Allowed by Law  
I. Adjourn  
A motion was made by JUSTUS, seconded by BANKS, that the Zoo Commission  
be adjourned. The motion carried unanimously at 8:26am.  
Respectfully submitted by Kristin Moala, pending approval by the Zoo Commission.