Funeral services set for first Topeka Zoo director

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Services are set for the first Topeka Zoo director, Gary K. Clarke, who zoo officials announced died at the age of 79 Friday evening.

According to his obituary, the family will greet people from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 at Dove Cremations and Funerals - Southwest Chapel, at 3700 SW Wanamaker Rd.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Martin & Osa Johnson Safari Museum at 111 N Lincoln, Chanute, KS 66720, or to Friends of the Topeka Zoo at 635 Gage Blvd.

Clarke came to Topeka in 1963 to serve as Zoo director. In 1974, he opened the first Rain Forest exhibit in the country.

In 1989, Clarke left the zoo to focus on his safari business, Cowabunga Safaris. He led 140 safaris there, getting to know the land and the people in Africa.