ABOUT US >

We are animal care professionals dedicated to excellence in the animal field and fostering the preservation of our natural world. 

CONTACT >

Email: goaazk@gmail.com

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WHO WE ARE

The Greater Orlando AAZK is a local chapter of the national non-profit organization: American Association of Zoo Keepers. We are made up of animal care professionals in the Greater Orlando area, including: Sea World Orlando, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Discovery Cove, Natural Encounters Inc, and other individuals dedicated to animal care and conservation.

 

 

Our Officers

President: Ashley Roth

Ashley has been an animal keeper for over 9 years. She has a BS in Zoology from Michigan State University. She started her career at the Houston Zoo in the Hoofstock Department working with a variety of species, including Giraffes, various antelope, Okapi, Rhinos, various birds, Giant Anteaters, and Maned Wolves. She was a chapter Vice President for the Greater Houston AAZK chapter for several years.  She is currently an Animal Keeper at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge working with Okapi, various antelope, and birds. She looks forward to continue to grow the chapter and assist keepers with chapter opportunities; such as conservation and conference support. 

 

Vice President: Jen Hershey

Jennifer has been an animal keeper for 20 years and is a graduate of the Santa Fe Teaching Zoo Program in Gainesville, FL. She has worked as an intern aquarist at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific and San Diego Zoo's Safari Park working primarily at the Animal Care Center with hoofstock neonates and as a relief keeper for other sections of the park. She was on the opening team at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge and now works at Disney's Animal Kingdom in the veterinary department. Being an AAZK member has given her the opportunity to network with other members of the zoological community and participate in conservation fundraisers.

Treasurer: Jenn Coe

Jenn has been an animal keeper for over 12 yrs. She has a BA in Biology from the College of Charleston and a AS in Zoo Tecnology from the Sante Fe Teaching Zoo. She has worked with a variety of species, but most of her experience is with birds. She is currently a Senior 1 Aviculturist at Discovery Cove. She joined AAZK and became an officer to get more involved with the zookeeper community, in addition to helping to conserve the animals we all love!

 

Secretary: Penny Jolly

Penny has been a zoo keeper for 30 years and a member of AAZK for almost as long. In 2009 she was honored to become an AAZK Board Member and just finished a term as President. She also contributes to the zoological field as the AZA Abdim’s stork Studbook keeper and Program Leader. She has a BS Degree in Zoology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.  She has worked with a variety of species at the Utica Zoo, the Kansas City Zoo, and Disney's Animal Kingdom. I have cared for a wide variety of species including Vietnamese walking sticks, Burrowing owls, African elephants, chimpanzees, snow leopards, California sea lions and currently roseate spoonbills, Tammar wallabies, babiurusa and Southern giant anteater. She enjoys being an officer with GOAAZK because we all have fun together, form friendships and help support conservation programs like Bowling for Rhinos!

 

WHAT WE DO

Keepers leading the way in animal care and conservation.

Our Mission:

To foster a professional attitude in animal keepers and aquarists by encouraging them to become active members of professional teams at today’s zoos and aquariums. AAZK supports the promotion and implementation of zookeeper education and strives to make the general public aware of our concern for all deserving conservation projects and the need for the preservation of our natural resources and the species that depend on those resources.

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