Throughout the years, AAZK San Diego has been involved with many conservation and educational programs on a local and international level. Our events are open to the public and we encourage everyone to join us. Details can be found on our Events page. Here are a few of our accomplishments, past presentations and events:

Partnership with the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance (

Fundraising for Conservation Projects (local & international):
Bowling for Rhinos, yearly fundraiser for Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (LWC) in Kenya and the Indonesian Rhino Conservation Program (IRCP) that includes Ujong Kulon (UJ) and Bakit Barisan Selatan (BBS) parks. Since we have been participating in 1990, our chapter total contribution is over $300,815. BFR has raised over $7 million nationally to date! 

  • AZA SAFE Programs
    CA Wolf Center in Julian
  • Action for Cheetahs in Kenya
    Las Pumas Animal Shelter in Guanacaste, Costa Rica
  • San Diego River Park Foundation
  • Wild Cat Conservation
  • Northern Rangelands Endangered Species Program for Grevy’s Zebras
  • Cheetah Conservation Fund
  • Shape of Enrichment
  • Lions, Tigers, and Bears
  • Project Wildlife
  • Red Panda Project
  • Westgate School in Samburu, Kenya

Some of our Presentations:

  • Painted Dog Research Trust with Dr. Greg Rasmussen
    Cross-Fostering of Mexican Gray Wolves with CA Wolf Center
    Bat Conservation with Dan Taylor, Program Coordinator
  • Sensitive Species & Habitat Management in CA with Juan Hernandez Sr Biologist/ Regulatory Specialist for the Lilburn Corporation
  • International Rhino Foundation with Bill Konstant, Program Officer
  • Cheetah Outreach with Deon Cilliers, Cheetah Outreach’s Livestock Guarding Dog Project Manager
  • The Piping Plover Project with Ann Knutson, San Diego Zoo Global keeper
  • Elephant Management Association with Robbie Clark, SD Zoo elephant keeper
  • California Wolf Center with Patrick Valentino, Director
  • San Diego Bird Atlas with Phil Unitt, Bird Manager of the SD Natural History Museum
  • Pet Food Labels with Nutritionist Mark Edwards
  • World Wild Web with Librarian Linda Coates
  • Brown Bears of Katmai Wilderness with Joanne Simerson, Sr. Mammal Keeper
  • Importance of Enrichment and Developing a Program Framework with Don Moore, WCS Director
  • CA Wild Heritage with Geoffrey Smith
  • San Diego River Park Foundation, with Rob Hutsel
  • Southern CA Ecosystem Health Project with Dr. Walter Boyce, UC Davis
  • San Diego Plant Atlas, with Jon Redman
  • Art & Science of Training with Steve Martin of Natural Encounters, Inc.
  • The Principles & Philosophy of Animal Handling with Mark Johnson, DVM, Global Wildlife Resources
  • Wildlife Exposé with Brian Williams, Red Panda Project Executive Director
  • Elite Divers of the Antarctic with Dr. Paul Ponganis
  • Cheetah Conservation Fund with Dr. Laurie Marker
  • UC Davis Wildlife Center, CA Puma Study with Michael Puzzo
  • Kibale Community Fuel Wood Project with Rebecca Goldstein and Michael Stern
  • Bush Meat Crisis with Pete Andrews, Educator

AAZK San Diego Event Participation:

Earth Day
WAP Photo Caravan, yearly
Conservation Fair
1st National Polar Bear Husbandry Conference
Keeper Jamboree Fundraiser for various conservation projects
Evening at Joan Embery’s
Southern CA Keeper Exchange (SCKE)
National Zoo Keeper Week – 3rd week of July
Exotic Escapades at Lions Tigers & Bears
Dinner With A Keeper Featuring Joan Embery

Educational Workshops:
Browse Workshop, Professional Development Series, with San Diego Zoo Global Horticulture Dept.
Roping, with WAP Animal Care Manager (ACM), Andy Blue
Ear Notching and Processing, with Zoo ACM, Curby Simerson
Hoof trimming with Zoo ACM, Curby Simerson
Enrichment Workshops
Neonatal Workshop with Neonatal Assistant Specialists

Other accomplishments:
Publications:    “Exotic Diseases” Animal Keeper Forum
The Keeper Quarterly San Diego AAZK Newsletter
Organized trips to:  CA Wolf Center in Julian, L.A. Zoo, SeaWorld of San Diego

AAZK San Diego  in the Community:
Carlsbad Marathon volunteers
Adoption of South Mission beach
Wildlife Conservation Network
Seal counts with Seal Conservancy
Keeper Helping Keepers Program at Parque del Nino Zoo, Valle de Guadalupe, B.C., Mexico
“Lifestyles for a Sustainable World” at the Point Loma Nazarene College
Expanding Your Horizons “Girls in Science” at Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
Enrichment and Exhibit Enhancement at the San Diego Humane Society and Project Wildlife
Projects for Wildlife Podcast


We are animal care professionals dedicated to preserving our natural resources and wildlife.