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ZAA Professional Development: Touch the Heart to Teach the Mind 1.0 - Training for Guest Experience
Touch the Heart to Teach the Mind 1.0 - Training for Guest Experience

In the past year, everyone was forced indoors and glued to their screens. Now that life is regaining some normalcy, a new wave of patrons are eager to experience the animals alongside our loyal guests who are itching to return to the zoo. As we welcome these visitors through our gates, one of our primary goals is to create unique experiences that they will cherish as a memory or even share on their devices. While experiences like Lemur Island at Tanganyika Wildlife Park or the train ride through the safari park at Wildlife World Zoo are great ways to engage guests, we cannot discount the value of smaller-scale interactions like a skunk meet and greet or a feeding opportunity. This presentation will explore various opportunities to creatively facilitate a connection between your guests and animals; all while keeping animal training, guest experience, and animal welfare in mind.

Oct 6, 2021 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Woulter Stellaard
Animal Programs Training Director @Columbus Zoo
Wouter Stellaard has been in the animal field for over 26 years. His passion and career began in the Netherlands while working in a wildlife rehabilitation center. He started an animal ambulance with one of his friends before he moved to the United States and attend the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program at Moorpark College. After graduating he started working for Natural Encounters Inc. As the Director of Behavioral Programs, he consulted both nationally and internationally creating zoo wide animal training programs and guest experiences. Currently Wouter is the Animal Programs Training Director at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium where he is responsible for training staff and animals in a wide variety of taxa, as well as creating unique guest experiences.