Erik van Engelen will leave Wildlands zoo in Emmen this year. He announced this during a press conference. A successor has not yet been announced. Van Engelen expects this to be found around the summer.
Van Engelen took office in 2018 to get the ailing park back on track. Wildlands faced a deficit of 8.5 million in that year. The park has now been writing black figures again in recent years. “The park is well under construction again. A good time for me to leave.”
Van Engelen announced his departure a few months ago to the municipality of Emmen and the Supervisory Board. A farewell moment is still being held, but it is not yet known when. Van Engelen has no further plans for the future yet, he says when asked.
He was appointed as interim in October 2018 after the departure of Frankwin Beers at a time when the new zoo was in serious financial trouble. Van Engelen was supposed to stay for a year, but eventually stayed much longer on request.