Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Jeff Halter Named Dane County Henry Vilas Zoo Deputy Zoo Director

October 18, 2012
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive 608.267.8823 or cell, 608.843.8858
County Executive

Long-Time Employee at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Brings More Than A Decade of Experience in Animal Care, Emergency Preparedness, Facility Planning to the Role


Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today that Jeff Halter has been selected to serve as Deputy Zoo Director for the county’s Henry Vilas Zoo.  Halter brings more than a decade of professional zoological experience, most recently at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, to the role.


“Jeff Halter will bring a wealth of experience from his time at one of the country’s top animal conservation attractions to the talented team we already have in place at the Henry Vilas Zoo,” said Parisi.  “Our experienced staff is a big part of the reason our zoo has a world-class reputation for excellent animal care and education.”


Halter has 17 years of Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Accredited zoo experience –  14 years at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  Halter joined Disney as a zoo keeper in 1998, specializing in care for large carnivores and hoofstock. 


He currently serves as the Animal, Science, and Environment Line of Business Program Manager, including the operational departments of Tri-Circle D Ranch, EPCOT Living Seas aquarium, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, EPCOT Agricultural Science, and Water Sciences Department.


During his career with Disney, Halter has been directly responsible for animal care and education, staff training, and facility and exhibit development.  Halter has also developed emergency response and animal escape contingency plans for Disney in coordination with the AZA and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).


“I am delighted to be a part of a great team at the Henry Vilas Zoo,” said Halter.  “Being a free zoo gives us the opportunity to share our passion for conservation and animals with everyone. This is how we can truly make a difference”.


Before joining Disney, Halter served as an Animal Keeper at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  There, Halter cared for a diverse group of animals, and planned and implemented animal outreach and education programs.

Pending final approval by the Dane County Board, Halter’s official start date would be December 17th.

Back to Press Releases