I have loved animals for as long as I can remember. My favorite animal as a child? Kitties! My favorite animal now? Gorillas! That’s right… gorillas. Since 2002, I’ve worked in Myombe Reserve with six of the most intelligent, charming, awesome gorillas around. While I do work with many other equally fantastic animals (such as chimpanzees, lemurs, and bushbabies), I absolutely adore gorillas. Two things that I really enjoy when it comes to working with animals are: training and making new toys (or enrichment) for the animals to play with. Since these are passions of mine, they will be two of the hot topics that I hope you will enjoy in my blogging. I also hope to share a wealth of information about each of our chimps and gorillas to help you get to know them better as individuals and as a species and also talk about conservation efforts in place to help save them and their natural environment.
How did I end up as a Senior One Animal Care Specialist at Busch Gardens Tampa? I started working here in the Culinary Operations department when I was in high school, then went to college to study veterinary medicine. Not long into my studies, I realized that I would much rather spend my days forming bonds, training and interacting with animals, rather than only seeing them when they were sick. I switched my field of study and graduated from the University of Florida with a master in agri-business and a bachelor in animal science (which brought me right back to working at Busch Gardens Tampa, this time, as part of the zoo!).