Ramona Bass

Co-Chairman of the Fort Worth Zoological Association –


In 1983, Ramona Bass visited the Fort Worth Zoo for the first time and was instantly distraught with the conditions of the both the Zoo amenities and habitats for the animals they housed. She describes, “I knew at that moment I had to do something about it and the Fort Worth Zoo has since become my life’s work. Along with a group of native Fort Worthians, we led the effort to privatize the Zoo, which inspired a renaissance of the Zoo throughout the last 30 years. With the help of so many — a hardworking Board, extraordinary Zoo staff and keepers, the most amazing and big-hearted donors, The City of Fort Worth and the millions that come here — we have opened 18 permanent habitats and support facilities, welcomed 30 million visitors into the park and raised $300 million and counting.”

Ramona has been an instrumental leader in both fundraising for and creating exhibits such as:
– Texas Wild!
– Museum of Living Art

As well as the four-phase $130 million master plan, A Wilder Vision that includes:
– African Savanna (completed)
– Elephant Springs (completed)
– Big Cat Habitat (in progress, completion Spring 2023)
– Forests and Jungles (final phase, not yet in progress)

Ramona describes, “Wildlife and the outdoors have always been a part of my life. I was appointed by Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton to serve on the National Wildlife Refuge System Centennial Commission, served as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation’s vice chair of the Outreach and Education Advisory Committee, received the International Award of Excellence in Conservation from the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT), and my husband and I were inducted into the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation’s Conservation Hall of Fame. But the Zoo is #1; it has been my passion and my purpose for more than 40 years. I feel so blessed to have had this opportunity and to be able to give back to this wonderful city.”

 “The messages are the core of what the Zoo is about. It is imperative that we continue to educate our children on the importance of conservation and create an appreciation for wildlife. People know elephants, giraffes and other “exotic” animals, but many don’t know the amazing wildlife we have here in Texas. With the current dangerous disconnect between children and nature and the doomsday environmental messages we are all receiving today, I think we can agree the factual, science-based information we teach and the stories we tell could not be more crucial. What is Texas without the land, the wildlife and the natural resources that have informed our culture and our history? What if future generations do not have the understanding or the interest to conserve and manage the birthright they have been given? It is essential that the guiding principles of the Texas Wild! message is taught to our children and grandchildren. We must ensure that they understand the complexity of man’s role in the environment not only here but around the world and that they appreciate the marvelous natural treasures they have inherited.” 

Ramona Bass

Business Info:

Fort Worth Zoo

1989 Colonial Parkway, Fort Worth, Texas 76110, USA

Badge Icon for Fort Worth Woman's Woman of the Month Feature. Links to Woman of the Month article.

1989 Colonial Parkway, Fort Worth, Texas 76110, USA

Contact Information:

(817) 759-7555

Facebook icon Instagram icon
Fort Worth Woman

Pin It on Pinterest