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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


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.”


Stacey Johnson 

  • 3 Associate of Science degrees in Exotic Animal Training and Management from Moorpark College
  • Experience as Vet Tech.
  • Large cat keeper at Tiger World in North Carolina
  • Came to Wild Wonders in October 2014

Stacey’s degrees are from Moorpark College in the areas of Exotic Animal Training and Management.  Besides her experience as a vet technician, she was large cat keeper at Tiger World in North Carolina.  Stacey has been with Wild Wonders since October 2014.




Sarah Young 

  • Bachelors in Biology from University of Texas, Arlington
  • Keeper at Texas State Aquarium and at Dallas World Aquarium
  • Came to Wild Wonders in May 2017

Sarah is the newest member of the Wild Wonders staff, having joined in May 2017.  She has a Bachelor 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.





Michelle Engler 

  • Bachelors in Zoology from SD State, 2013
  • Interned at zoos/animal sanctuaries in TX, FL, NC, and California, with focus on large carnivores
  • Began at WW in January 2016

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.






Samantha Ferguson 

  • Graduated from UCSB with degree in Zoology
  • Began at Wild Wonders right after graduation in 2012, and has been here ever since

Sami has been at Wild Wonders for over 5 years.  She graduated from UCSB in 2012 with a degree in Zoology and began at Wild Wonders right after finishing college.






Candice Dymek

  • Bachelors from Univ of Pittsburg
  • Most recently 5+ years as Senior Keeper at
  • Began at WW in February 2017

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.

We’d also like to recognize our dedicated volunteers!