Pat Dingle was the Director and CEO of the Southern Nevada Zoo, also known as the Las Vegas Zoo, located in Las Vegas, Nevada. The zoo closed September, 2013.
We found Pat and this zoo because it was one of three zoos named in a lawsuit involving the United States Department of Agriculture’s failure to create standards for chimpanzee care. We were speaking with a few other people involved in this lawsuit (which was aimed at the USDA, not Southern Nevada Zoo) and wanted to include Pat’s perspective as well.
This was an incredibly loud location for an interview, as can be heard in our footage. Pat was accommodating and after the interview, allowed us to film around the zoo as well as speak with his assistant zookeeper. We were primarily there to talk with him about a chimpanzee named Terry, who is in the cage behind him during the interview. Terry ended up at this zoo after his owner turned him over to Pat. As I understand it, Terry’s owner used to have chimpanzees that performed in an ice skating show, although I don’t believe Terry was involved in those performances. What made this situation unique is that Pat told us he was not aware of another zoo where staff regularly go into the enclosure with a chimpanzee. After the interview, he went into Terry’s enclosure (which included a bed with a television, a swing as well as some foliage and something to climb on) and swung on the swing and wandered around the enclosure with Terry. I appreciate Pat allowing us access to his zoo to film as well as answering our array of questions.
YOU CAN FIND ALL OF PAT DINGLE’S INTERVIEWS HERE. This collection may increase as I add more content to this site.