About Paul Breese

Paul Breese
In Memoriam
Oct 16, 1922 - Oct 18, 2018
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Honolulu Zoo: Honolulu, Hawaii

Director Emeritus

Paul started his zoo career as a part time reptile keeper at the San Diego Zoo in 1940. His promotion to driver for the zoo’s sightseeing bus came via his boss, Ms. Belle Benchley, the director of the zoo and the first female in the United States to hold such a position.

When the war started Paul joined the Navy and in 1943 became a naval officer in the south pacific theater. He fell in love with Hawaii and finished his degree at the university of Hawaii. Through a series of events and people connections he was offered the position of zoo director in 1947. He was twenty-five years old. He retired in 1965 and through his efforts the NeNe Goose population on Hawaii was saved from extinction.