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jackie_cheetahJackie Navarro – Executive Director/Compound Manager

Jackie Navarro is a veteran of the wild animal world. Her personal safari began in 1989 taking her from California Polytechnic University into various roles such as: zookeeper, zoo educator, trainer, behavioral consultant, presenter, and show producer and consultant.

Jackie has been affiliated with several zoos including: Columbus, Charles Paddock, Santa Ana, and the San Diego Safari Park, where she performed in front of thousands. These experiences combined with a need for grassroots wildlife education programs in southern California eventually led her to the formation of her own wildlife education organization, Wild Wonders, Inc. in 1991.

Currently, Jackie travels throughout the United States with her animal ambassadors charming children and adults alike through personal appearances, performances, media opportunities, and other related interactions. Jackie’s drive and determination, along with her contacts in the animal world are only a few of her great assets that have helped Wild Wonders to grow into one of the foremost wildlife education organizations in the west. She has a genuine love of animals, children and a desire to educate people about the natural world.

*Jackie is an Institutional Member of American Association of Zookeepers,  Member of American Zoological Association, Professional Member of Zoological Association of America, President of the Association of Professional Wildlife Educators, and Member of California Association for the Gifted, California Kindergarten Association, and International Zoo Educators.

“Jackie Navarro of wild wonders has a unique ability to communicate and inspire those who take part in her programs the work jackie does with young people will result in future generations caring about wildlife and interested in conservation.” – Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

 

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Kimberly Wright – Managing Director/Programs Manager

Kimberly Wright is a graduate of San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and marine sciences. She has a varied background of animal handling experience, working both in zoological parks and marine aquariums. Her experience includes many aspects of animal training, veterinary procedures, behavioral enrichment, husbandry, and educational presentations. As part of her dedication to wildlife conservation and education, she actively participates in biological research, both domestic and international.

“Working for Wild Wonders gives me a unique opportunity to share my knowledge and passion for the natural world by exposing and educating others about the extraordinary animals we share this world with.”

 

 

 

Michelle Engler 

Michelle has a Bachelors in Zoology from San Diego State University.  Before joining Wild Wonders in January 2016, she held intern positions at multiple zoos/sanctuaries in California, Florida, Texas, and North Carolina with a focus on large carnivores.

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Young 

Sarah joined Wild Wonders in May 2017.  She has a Bachelors degree in Biology from University of Texas, Arlington.  Her recent experience includes serving as a keeper at the Texas State Aquarium and at the Dallas World Aquarium.

 

 

 

 

Candice Dymek

Candice has been involved with marine animals and wildlife for 8 years.  Most recently, she held a Senior Keeper position at Tanganyika Wildlife Park in Goddard, KS, and was there for over 5 years.  Candice graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and has been with Wild Wonders since February 2017.

 

 

 

 

Alex Sauseda

Alex is the newest member of the Wild Wonders staff, having joined us in January 2018.  He has a Bachelors in Animal Science from the University of Arizona, and interned at Reid Park Zoo in Tucson with large carnivores and hoofstock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’d also like to recognize our dedicated volunteers!