Hello, my name is Jennifer MacNaughton. I’m a Senior Animal Care Specialist and I work with the Rhinos here at Busch Gardens. Rhinos are wonderful animals to work with and I truly look forward to coming to work in the morning.
I grew up in southwest Florida and I used to visit Busch Gardens on school field trips; so, to work here as a zoo keeper is beyond a dream come true. Before Busch Gardens I worked for several years at Zoo Miami, in Miami, FL and I was very fortunate to have worked with a wide variety of animals, from rhinos and antelopes to birds, reptiles and even fish. The variation in color, form and function in the animal world is just so fascinating, I don’t know if I will ever be done exploring. Before Zoo Miami I earned a Bachelors degree in Biology from the University of Miami. While in college I worked at Miami Seaquarium as an educator, working summer camps and sleepovers.
I’m a Florida girl, born and raised. My fascination with animals began early – I grew up in a cypress swamp, literally, and it felt like I lived in my own little nature reserve. Snakes, turtles, crawdads, hawks, owls in the night, blue jays and gators, I discovered Florida’s wildlife early and now I have the chance to work with animals from all corners of the world. Tampa is an amazing city and Busch Gardens is helping me grow and discover. As they say, “what a long, strange trip it’s been”, but also a good one, and I am excited to share my stories and my passions with you. Read on, and never stop exploring.