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My name is Deb and I am a passionate biologist committed to advocating for animals in care by promoting the best husbandry practices. My hope is to inspire and empower others to do the same.
I have twenty+ years of professional husbandry experience both in the private sector and within professional organizations such as AZA. Currently, I am responsible for co-managing the care of multi-taxa exhibits which include amphibians, fish, reptiles, mammals, inverts and birds. I help to lead a team of animal care professionals with 16 members. My professional focus has been on small mammal (specifically two-toed sloths) and avian husbandry as well as innovative approaches to animal behavior.
In addition to my full-time job as a curator, I own and operate an LLC, The Educated Zookeeper. Educated Zookeeper provides free opportunities to connect zookeepers with researchers, each other and wildlife professionals.
I am available to lead workshops, provide assistance to organizations retrofitting exhibits or on new builds, provide interim husbandry support and develop collection plans. Common problems addressed through consultative services include moving animals to/from exhibit easily, removing ill animals, the inability to retrieve offspring, and interpreting social behavior to prevent premature deaths. Consultative services may also include reproduction, training, recall behavior planning and collection planning.