In 1990 I began my training career with pinnipeds for public presentations, interactive programs, and advanced husbandry behaviors. Due to the sea lion facility being zoo based, the opportunity arose to consult in other areas of the zoo that had training needs and thus initiated a zoo wide training program.
I was able to teach keepers to train a variety of zoo species utilizing operant conditioning techniques from simple shifting to complex behaviors in order to cooperate in their own medical care. I quickly became passionate with the ability to teach keepers how to provide the best possible care for their animals which includes shifting animals on/off exhibit or from one enclosure to another as well as to perform medical behaviors from body part presents to advanced behaviors such as blood collection and hand injections. This was a challenge initially as the training with various zoo species in a protected contact setting is quite different from training a seal or sea lion where they are able to physically interact with you. Protected contact was a novel concept to me and means there was now a barrier between you and the animals (eg. fencing, mesh).
After 10 years of working with an extremely diverse group of animals and trainers/keepers, I decided it was time to venture out on my own, so I started my training consultation company.
I work with several zoos providing various training services among very committed animal care staff and truly amazing animals.
I am a broad based trainer with a background that allows for the maximum utilization of innovative solutions and have a depth of experience of natural behaviors and medical procedures to logically assess desired outcomes with employment of realistic steps to achieve their goals.
This is based on the fact that I am also the co-founder and Executive Administrator for African Predator Conservation Research Organization, Inc. (APCRO) as well as a licensed, Certified Veterinary Technician.
Our organization, the African Predator Conservation Research Organization, goal is to preserve the various carnivores found on the continent of Africa (lions, hyena, wild dogs, leopards, cheetah, and jackals). We are a veterinary based organization looking primarily at disease transmission in novel species, emergence of new disease and the genetic and nutritional factors that may be influencing this problem.
Doing field conservation work to help preserve carnivores along with working with zoos to provide the best care for the animals allows for a complete feeling of self-fulfillment, gratefulness, and humbleness to have the pleasure of fulfilling your personal and spiritual goals while spending your life struggling along with others who have the same passion for the best life of both captive and wild animals.