The Reston Zoo will reopen for the season March 19 with a new name and new owners.
Welcome, Roer’s Zoofari.
According to the Roer’s Zoofari Facebook page:
New owners Vanessa Stoffel and Jacob Roer are excited to join the greater Reston/Vienna/Herndon community and reopen the Reston Zoo as Roer’s Zoofari.
Visitors to Roer’s Zoofari can expect many of the same wonderful hands-on experiences that have been offered in the past as well as new animal encounters and renovations.
Roer’s Zoofari is a an opportunity for people of all ages to discover and connect with animals and the environment.
Stoffel has many years of experience operating animal parks. She has been the CEO of Bearizona, a wildlife park in Williams, AZ, since 2009, according to her LinkedIn page. She also serves as a board member for the Zoological Association of America, a group that advocates for the industry and zoos.
The Reston Zoo, which features farm and exotic animals on land off of Hunter Mill Road, has been in the news the last several years after former zoo director Meghan Mogensen was found guilty of animal cruelty and possession of narcotics in Fairfax County General District Court after she improperly euthanized a sick wallaby at the zoo in 2012.
Mogensen is the daughter of former owner Eric Mogensen. The zoo faced criticism whether Meghan Mogensen was qualified to be running the zoo.
The zoo hired a new director last July. Eric Mogensen has also responded to the 2012 incident and other animal mistreatment allegations in a July op-ed on Reston Now.
Reston Now will check in with the new owners to see what changes they have planned for the zoo when it reopens for the season.
Photo: Reston Zoo/file photo
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