Zoological and aquarium professionals from across the U.S. are gathering this month at the top professional conferences in the country to share ideas, network and learn from one another – and the Dallas Zoo is well-represented.
At the American Association of Zookeepers (AAZK) national conference in Orlando, Fla., hoofstock keeper Russell Pharr presented a paper he co-authored with lead giraffe keeper Heather Seymour. His presentation focuses on two years spent training Grant’s zebras to accept voluntary hand injections for their semi-annual vaccinations.
Also at AAZK, lion keeper Rebecca Wolf presented a paper she co-wrote with keeper Sara Squires, discussing training our female lions to accept voluntary ultrasounds to monitor potential pregnancies.
Other speakers are featured at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) annual conference, also in Orlando. Our coordinator of elephant behavior science, Nancy Scott, will present data collected since 2009 to compare how our five elephants’ behavior and activity patterns have changed after moving into their world-renowned Giants of the Savanna habitat in 2010.
Our director of communications and social media, Laurie Holloway, will discuss how we listen and respond to guests on consumer review sites, such as TripAdvisor and Yelp. (Thanks to your positive comments about the Dallas Zoo, we just earned our second straight TripAdvisor 2014 Certificate of Excellence award!)
Sharing successes and knowledge with our zoo and aquarium colleagues showcases the expertise of the Dallas Zoo team, and also provides them with the opportunity to learn from others.