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Zoo New England’s Dr. Chris Bonar elected president of the American College of Zoological Medicine

Zoo New England is excited to announce that Dr.  Christopher J. Bonar, VMD will assume the office of president for the American College of Zoological Medicine.

The American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM) plays a pivotal role in advancing the field of zoological medicine through education, research, and advocacy. Dr. Bonar, Director of Animal Health at ZNE, will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to this prestigious position, contributing to the continued growth of zoological medicine. The appointment is a two-year term that began on January 1.

“This esteemed tribute is a testament to Dr. Bonar's outstanding commitment, expertise, and contributions to the field of zoological medicine,” said John Linehan, President and CEO of Zoo New England. “It is an honor to have such an accomplished professional as part of our team, and we are excited to see the positive impact he will make in furthering the mission of both the ACZM and our Zoos.”

The ACZM is the Specialty Organization which certifies zoological veterinarians as “specialists” under the auspices of the American Board of Veterinary Specialists. The ACZM ensures that “specialists” in the field demonstrate a specific level of training, experience, and knowledge.

Dr. Bonar expressed gratitude for this opportunity, stating, "I am honored to serve as the next President, and excited about collaborating with colleagues across the country to shape the future of zoological medicine. I will continue work alongside my ZNE colleagues as I embark on this exciting new chapter.”

Dr. Bonar came to Zoo New England in 2021 from the Dallas Zoo, where he was Senior Director of Animal Health for eight years. Prior to that, his work included time at Dallas World Aquarium, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Fort Wayne Zoo. With over 30 years of veterinary practice in zoo and wildlife medicine, Dr. Bonar brings a high level of expertise to the job.

Dr. Bonar’s career began as an aquarium keeper intern at the Pittsburgh Zoo in 1982. He studied biology at Harvard University, and while at Harvard, he assisted with field research with black rhinos in Kenya and the biomechanics of air breathing in lungfish. He received his VMD from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine in 1991. His post-doctoral internship was in Wildlife Medicine at the Wildlife Center of Virginia. In 1994, he helped found the Angiogenesis Foundation, serving on its Board of Directors since its inception and presently serving as Chairman of the Board. He also presently serves as a commissioner on the AZA Accreditation Commission.