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Mary Joan Pugh

Deputy Director

Mary Joan Pugh is the North Carolina Zoo’s Deputy Director. Her responsibilities are in the areas of management services, including budget management, purchasing and contracts, warehouse and computer services, facilities (including facilities and vehicle maintenance and aquatic life support) and in-house conservation.

Mary Joan served as Assistant Secretary in the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) before coming to the Zoo in 1989. She is a planner and zoologist by training and earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology with emphasis in ecology and a master’s degree in regional planning with a concentration in environmental and land use planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Mary Joan is a Fellow in the American Institute of Certified Planners and worked in local government as a planning director for eight years before joining the DENR staff. She has served as president of the NC Chapter of the American Planning Association (NCAPA) and on APA committees. She is also a  Professional Fellow in the Association of Zoos and Aquarium (AZA) and serves on the AZA’s Green Scientific Advisory Group. Mary Joan is also active in the community, having served as vice chairman of the Randolph County Tourism Development Authority and as chairman of the Travel and Tourism of the Piedmont Triad Partnership Foundation, a regional economic development organization. She is involved in land trust activities as board member of the Piedmont Land Conservancy and as chairman of the Randolph County Heritage Committee.

To contact Mary Joan Pugh:

By Phone

 1.800.488.0444 or 336.879.7110

By Email

 Email Mary Joan Pugh 

By Mail

North Carolina Zoo

4401 Zoo Parkway

Asheboro, North Carolina 


About Us

Contact Us

Aviary Bird Guide

African Pygmy Goose

Amethyst Starling

Bali Mynah

Birds in the Aviary

Blue Poison Dart Frog

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot:

Blue-grey Tanager

Blue-winged Leafbird

Chilean Flamingo

Common Shama Thrush

Crested Coua

Crested Wood Partridge

Eclectus Parrot

Emerald Starling

Fairy Bluebird

Golden- crested Mynah

Green Woodhoopoe

Mandarin Duck

Masked Lapwing


Nicobar Pigeon

Panama Golden Poison Dart Frog

Paradise Tanager

Pekin Robin

Purple Glossy Starling

Red-capped Cardinal

Ringed Teal

Scarlet Ibis

Scarlet-faced Liocichla


Victoria-crowned Pigeon

White-faced Whistling Duck

Yellow-banded dart frog (bumblebee frog)

Yellow-rumped Cacique

Africa Bridge Art

African Gates

African Savanna

Agama Lizard

Ant Bear

Arctic Fox Art

Arctic Turns

Bald Eagle with Salmon

Ball Python

Billy Goats Gruff

Black Dog


Cattail Gate

Elephant Rubbing Tree

Elephant Tracking Game

Elephants Art

Follow the Pollen Path

French Beans


Garden Friends

Harbor Seal Sculpture

Hippo Pod

Hummingbird Garden

Lisa’s Dragonfly



Nature’s Recyclers

Ola, The Water Bearer

Ostrich Egg Interactive

Piedmont Totem

Polar Bear Art

Prairie Geyser

Preening Heron

Stalking Little Blue Heron

Stone that Stands in an Empty Sky

The Critics

Uwharrie Vision

Watani Cooling Station

White Rhino Art

Zoological Egg Rest