ASHEBORO, NC — The North Carolina Zoo has welcomed Roger Sweeney as its General Curator.

Sweeney comes to Asheboro from the Virginia Zoo, where he was an Assistant Director responsible for overseeing the departments of animal care, veterinary services, facilities maintenance, horticulture, security and administration of all City of Norfolk-funded departments of the zoo since 2011. He also maintains an active involvement with field projects in the Caribbean and the Philippines. 

A native of Chester, England, Sweeney began working as a zookeeper in England after nurturing an interest in the natural world from a young age. He has spent more than 25 years working in zoo and wildlife biology positions in England, the Philippines, Spain, Qatar, the Caribbean and North America. Sweeney has had significant involvement in both the European (EAZA) and North American (AZA) zoo communities. 

“We are thrilled to have Roger join our dedicated, talented team at the North Carolina Zoo,” says Zoo Director Pat Simmons. “He has worked with a great number of animal species and populations in a wide variety of different environmental, cultural and organizational settings around the globe. His vast experience and skills mesh perfectly with our mission to protect nature’s diversity.” 

Since living in North America from 2003, Sweeney added a master’s degree in Natural Resources from Utah State University to early graduate study and a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences and mathematics. In addition to having central interests in conservation biology, zoo population sustainability and the management of social systems for captive populations, Sweeney also has wide interests in related environmental fields, including natural resources law and policy, sustainable nature-based tourism, environmental economics and wildlife damage management. He has published five books and more than 100 science, technical and popular articles. 

About the North Carolina Zoo 

At the North Carolina Zoo, we celebrate nature. As the world’s largest natural habitat Zoo, we inspire a lifelong curiosity about animals for the hundreds of thousands of people who visit our Zoo each year. Our dedicated team of experts provides exceptional, compassionate care for the more than 1,600 animals and 52,000 plants that call our Park home. We also lead efforts locally and globally to protect wildlife and wild places because we believe nature’s diversity is critical for our collective future. The North Carolina Zoo invites all of our guests to witness the majesty of the wild in the heart of North Carolina and welcomes everyone to join in our mission to protect nature’s diversity. Visit to begin your life-changing journey. 

About the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources 

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development. 

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the North Carolina Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call 919- 807-7300 or visit