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Guy Cooper, Director and Chief Executive of the Taronga Conservation Society Australia, has announced his intention to retire in August 2009.

Guy has been associated with Taronga and Taronga Western Plains Zoos since 1991 when he was first appointed to the Board of the Taronga Conservation Society Australia. He went on to become the Deputy Chairman in 1993 and commenced as Director and Chief Executive in 1998.

During this time, Guy has succeeded in some momentous achievements in the history of Taronga and Taronga Western Plains Zoos.

He presided over the development of the $251 million Master Plan which has revolutionised both zoos, established the Taronga Conservation Society Australia to better reflect the diverse nature of the Zoos endeavours; and created the Taronga Foundation to support and endow the Zoos' ongoing work into the future.

Guy has taken a lead role in representing the zoological industry both internationally and nationally, with a key focus on influencing policy and creating an operating environment conducive to zoos reaching their potential and supporting their vital roles in species preservation, research and education.

Recently Guy has championed a major focus on research and conservation initiatives to ensure that zoos remain relevant and in the forefront of wide-ranging programs in Australia and abroad, supporting threatened species ranging from Corroboree Frogs to Black Rhinoceros.

His recent leadership and foresight brought together national experts and members of the International Union for Conservation in Nature to focus their collective expertise to formulate a plan to save the Tasmanian Devil from extinction.

Under Guy's stewardship, Taronga Zoo was voted Sydney's favourite attraction, Taronga Western Plains Zoo earned the award for best NSW inland tourism destination and the latest Master Plan redevelopment, Great Southern Oceans, was voted best Australian public building.

Guy has brought great vision and ambition to the zoos, and had the tenacity and drive to reform them into the dynamic agencies for conservation, research and education that they are today.

A program for recruitment of his successor will be announced shortly.

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