Zoo boss cleared of serious allegations after smear campaign.


An Edinburgh Zoo boss has been cleared after a smear campaign sparked a probe.

A ZOO boss today said he was overwhelmed after being officially cleared of

“despicable’ allegations of serious misconduct.Gary Wilson was banned from Edinburgh Zoo while bosses and charity regulators probed anonymous claims against him.But Donald Emslie, who is the executive chair of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) today announced that Mr Wilson had been the victim of a

“despicable’ smear campaign.He said:

“On behalf of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, I would like to announce that, after an extensive and thorough investigation into a series of anonymous allegations made against Gary Wilson, the panel has concluded that there is no disciplinary case to answer and the disciplinary process is therefore at an end.’Gary has been the subject of a deeply unpleasant and malicious smear campaign by person or persons unknown who have chosen a despicable method by which to pursue their own personal agenda to the detriment of the Society, its staff, its members and Gary. “

Mr Emslie said the society was in talks with Mr Wilson and hoped to have him working back at the zoo in his former role as the director of business operations by the end of the month.

He added that the investigation into zoo chief Iain Valentine, who was suspended a few weeks after Mr Wilson, had yet to be concluded.

It was understood that the probe into Mr Wilson’s affairs centred around claims he stole from the new Budongo Trail chimpanzee enclosure.

And the 47-year-old was also said to have been investigated over the fleet of fancy cars he has driven over the years, including a Lotus and an Audi TT.

Mr Wilson said hit out at those who started the smear campaign against him. He said:

“I am both relieved and overwhelmed to be publically cleared of any wrongdoing.

“What my family and I have been through these last few months is something I would not wish on anyone. I would ask the person or persons responsible to examine their own conscience.

“I have remained committed to the organisation throughout all of this and look forward to returning to work and helping the RZSS achieve their goals and objectives. “

Corstorphine and Murrayfield Councillor Jeremy Balfour said:

“Well I hope that means the zoo can draw a line under this and move forward and continue to be one of the best tourist attractions in Scotland.

“We can now look forward to the coming of the giant pandas and hopefully visitor numbers increasing. “

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