Remembering Josh Skattum

We are heartbroken to share the news that a member of our Reid Park Zoo family,  Joshua Skattum, has passed away following a tragic car accident.

Many of you may recognize Josh from his more than four years at the Zoo. During his time with us, Josh was the Zoo’s Training Coordinator, a position that allowed him to help facilitate training and staff development across the Zoo. Unofficially, Josh was the Zoo’s welcoming party. If you were to poll the animal care staff at the Zoo, many of them would tell you Josh was the first person that befriended them and welcomed them to the Zoo and to Tucson. That was just who Josh was — a welcoming and inclusive force for good.

Josh had a love for nature and conservation that burned brightly. When he wasn’t working at the Zoo, Josh volunteered with multiple organizations committed to protecting our Sonoran Desert home including the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection and the Pima Master Naturalists. He had a love for hiking, all things haunted Halloween, and Oja the Andean Bear (pictured here). He had a sense of humor and love for adventure that were unparalleled, and he was always inviting everyone around him along for the ride.

Those that knew him associated Josh with sunshine.  He had a warm personality, a wide smile, and a contagious laugh. He found and spread joy everywhere he went. His passing has left us devastated. Josh was the kind of person we all strive to be and though his time on this earth was far, far too short, his impact was far reaching. Josh inspired us, taught us, and helped us. Our world is better for having had him in it and we will miss him dearly.

Our hearts go out to Josh’s family and friends during this time.