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For 48 years, the Zoological Society of San Diego has recognized an outstanding leader in the field of conservation and animal welfare.  Past recipients include Jane Goodall, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Sir David Attenborough, Dr. Kurt Benirschke, Kenneth Goddard, Joan Embery and Duane Pillsbury, and Betty White.  This year Menard Family Foundation Direction Barbara Menard was in attendance at the luncheon and award ceremony as the Conservation Advocate Medal was awarded to Chuck Bieler, the Executive Director of the Zoo during the 1970’s and 1980’s.   Mr. Bieler is responsible for receiving Australia’s gift of Koala’s to the San Diego Zoo for the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976.  He helped to create the Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species (CRES) with Dr. Kurt Benirschke in 1975 and oversaw the growth of the Wild Animal Park, now the San Diego Zoo Safari Park from 1972-1985.   “Modest he may be, Charles Bieler has contributed to the San Diego Zoo Global’s world-famous reputation in so many ways and overwhelmingly deserves the 2014 Conservation Advocate Medal.”

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