A Bequest From a Beloved Zoo Pioneer
In the 1960s, Ernie Greup chaired the Site Selection Committee that chose Randolph County as the setting for the future North Carolina Zoo. Later, as Vice Chairman of the N.C. Zoological Authority, Greup chaired the Advisory Board Nominations Committee, the Research Facility Liaison Committee, the Legislative Communication Committee and the Special Land Use Committee. He remained an active N.C. Zoological Park Council member throughout the rest of the century. In that role, he championed causes for elderly and physically challenged people visiting the Zoo.
In October, the Estate of Ernest W. and Jeanne S. Greup sent the majority of a $500,000 bequest to the N.C. Zoo Society. In appreciation for this gift, and for Greup's many years of service, the Society held a ceremony in his honor.
During the ceremony, staff memorialized Ernie Greup's devotion to the Zoo's disabled and elderly visitors by placing a plaque on the bridge leading into Africa. That bridge-which offers a level walk from the parking lot to the threshold of Africa's Wachovia Akiba Market-fulfilled a dream of Greup's. The bridge spans a small valley near the entrance and, consequently, prevents visitors from having to walk down and up a hill to enter or leave Africa.
The Greup bequest became part of the Lion's Pride Fund, which the Society treats like an endowment to support special needs of the North Carolina Zoo.
Ernie Greup worked with WTVD-TV in Durham. He joined that station in 1954. He was the station's first Program Manager and its Director of Public Affairs.
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