Charles H. Hoessle

Director Emeritus
Saint Louis Zoo
St. Louis, Missouri

Charlie’s first experience with exotic animals was not at a zoo but in the pet shop industry. His passion was with the reptiles and in 1963 joined the Saint Louis Zoo as a reptile keeper. He moved up the ranks as an assistant curator, curator, general curator and deputy director. In 1982 he accepted the position as director of the zoo where he started his career. Charlie served in this position until his retirement in 2002. During that time he served as president of the American Zoo Association and the association’s representative to the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and of Natural Resources (IUCN) in Costa Rica. He is a recipient of the American Zoo and Aquariums R. Marlin Perkins award.