While most 6-year-old girls were playing with dolls, I was playing with stuffed animal toys. I had quite a managerie from domestic pets to marine mammals. I always knew I would work with animals one day.
Fast forward to my college years, and my boyfriend’s stepsister had gotten a promotion at the contracted bird show at Busch Gardens in Tampa. This meant her position was open. “You like animals. I’ll tell the supervisor you’re interested”. Honestly, I had only held a bird twice in my whole life at that time, but I got the job, and began my animal training career singing back up to a parrot.
I performed in bird shows at Busch Gardens and Disney’s Animal Kingdom learning the ropes on training, time management for shows, and marveling at all the different personalities of each individual animal. In Colorado I was lucky enough to work with my favorite animal, the sea otter. You’ll notice I have a special place in my heart for Gracie who never ceased to amaze me.
My dream job became a reality when I was hired as the Supervisor of the Rainforest at Ocean World in the Dominican Republic. I was (1)opening a new park in a (2)foreign country and (3)working with animals. As an extra bonus I was able to work with dolphins, sharks, birds, and raise two tiger cubs.
Afterwards, I had the opportunity to train with dolphins in the Bahamas at UNEXSO’s Dolphin Experience, one of a handful of facilities that works with their dolphins in the open ocean.
My final hurrah in the animal training world was the opportunity to work with big cat expert, Andy Goldfarb, in Thailand raising clouded leopard cubs with the Clouded Leopard Consortium. I have been blessed with many animal experiences, and every animal I had the pleasure to work with had its own personality and quarkines that made them unique.
Many of my travels have been centered around concentrations of animal activity. Trips to Australia to see humpback whales, penguins and dive the Great Barrier Reef, Mexico to swim with sea lions and whale sharks, and a full summer in Alaska to see as much as I could see produced great memories and a few awesome photos to share.
Today I’m interested in promoting natural wonders and conservation efforts happening around the world through zoological institutions and non-profit organizations. I want to enjoy animals in ther natural habitats, but I also value the important role that zoos and other facilities play in the progagation of endangered species, veterinary care, fund-raising and educating the public on the difficulties that many species face today such as human development, pollution, and global warming.
I Travel For Animals is my personal memoir of animal training stories and personalities and a website devoted to showing the world the magnificience of the animal kingdom, including the facilities that work in preserving species worldwide. These include the zoos, aquariums, and rehabilitation facilities that allow us to learn about animals from other continents, and the locals who make a difference in our communities.
9 Wild Animal Encounters Worth the Trip on www.Trekhound.com http://trekhound.com/2012/03/28/9-wild-animal-encounters-worth-the-trip/