Zoo Guy Scott Mitchell is about to take over a more prestigious role at the Erie Zoo. The long time president and chief executive of the Erie Zoo, Jim Rhea, has announced his retirement. Scott Mitchell has been named as his successor. Rhea, who originally hired Mitchell 23 years ago, transformed the zoo over the course of his 33 years as president. He started at the zoo in 1966 and helped increase its yearly budget from $70,000 to the current 3.4 million dollars. Mitchell is expected to take over in July.