OnFocus 2019 Person of the Year: Steve Burns

Zookeeper Steve Burns

In reflection of the year, OnFocus is recognizing five people who made a special impact in 2019.

View the original announcement at this link.

Person of the Year: Steve Burns

The past year was an exciting period of growth and renewal for Marshfield’s top attraction, Wildwood Zoo.

Visitors were given more reasons to stop by the zoo with the opening of the new cougar exhibit and Welcome Center in October, another highlight in the career of Zookeeper Steve Burns since the completion of the state-of-the-art Kodiak bear exhibit in 2015.

Thanks to Burns, the Wildwood Zoo also brought in a new monarch butterfly exhibit after his research into a source for the butterflies connected him with the local Gwiazda family. The new exhibit with its daily releases of newly hatched butterflies proved to be a popular attraction for families this summer.

The Wildwood Zoo received wider media attention after being selected as a stop for a Marshfield episode of PBS’s “Around the Corner with John McGivern,” set to air next spring. It was an opportunity for Burns to highlight the zoo and the bear exhibit in particular.

In mid-November, Burns took charge in a dramatic rescue at the Upper Pond after a dog was spotted struggling to stay afloat in the open water surrounded by ice. Burns came back quickly with an extension ladder, and when the dog wasn’t able to climb up, used it to slide out onto the ice on his stomach. The risky move worked, and he was able to grab the dog by its collar and haul it to safety.

Burns also facilitated the arrival of two mountain goats from Olympic National Park in Washington this November and collaborated with Rotary Winter Wonderland organizers to bring about another successful season which will help fill the shelves of area food pantries.

In recognition of his involvement in the growth of the Wildwood Zoo and dedication to the healthy care of its residents, Steve Burns is an OnFocus 2019 Person of the Year.

News Desk
Author: News Desk

This piece was posted by our news team! Contact us or submit stories at [email protected]