MOUNT VERNON — After almost 12 years as an extension educator in Knox County, Troy Cooper is heading West. He will become director of the Willow Park Zoo in Logan, Utah.
“It’s a small-town zoo, nothing close to Columbus,” Cooper said, but he and his wife thought it seemed like a great opportunity and it “felt right to do.”
He has been charged with growing and developing the facility.
“It kind of fell out of the sky,” he said.
Cooper and his wife, Ellen, are both from Idaho and the new job will put them within two hours of both their families.
“It was a hard decision to leave Ohio and Knox County,” he added.
Cooper, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science from Utah State University, came to Knox County as the extension agent for horticulture and agriculture in 1997. He left in 2001 to work in Utah, but returned to the Knox County Extension office in 2004.
Logan is located about an hour northwest of Salt Lake City.
Today is Cooper’s last day on the job, but he said he will probably be around the rest of the month, packing and getting ready to move.
The Coopers have two children, a daughter, Audrey, who is a graduate of Fredericktown High School, and a son, Seth, a fifth-grader.
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