Fired Los Angeles Zoo director Warren D. Thomas was praised in federal court Tuesday as the man who turned the city zoo into "one of the finest zoological parks . . . in the world."
Robert Wagner, executive director of the American Assn. of Zoological Parks and Aquariums, testified that he and other zoo experts were "alarmed and shocked" by the city's dismissal of Thomas last month.
Wagner's testimony came during the first day of a Los Angeles hearing on Thomas' request for a preliminary injunction ordering his reinstatement to the $73,000-a-year post. U.S. District Judge William J. Rea will hear more testimony and arguments today.
Thomas was fired by city Department of Parks and Recreation General Manager James E. Hadaway for his failure to solve what Hadaway called "a series of internal problems."