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Sam Rivera, DVM

Senior Director of Veterinary Services

Dr. Sam Rivera is the Senior Director of Animal Health at Zoo Atlanta, where he oversees the veterinary and nutrition departments. He also sits on the Conservation and Education Committee of the Zoo’s Board of Directors.

Dr. Rivera has participated in a wide range of wildlife conservation projects around the globe. He serves as a mentor for veterinary residents, veterinary student externs, and undergraduate students. He is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition, Dr. Rivera is a longtime member of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV) and served on the AAZV Scientific Program Committee from 2016 to 2020, including service as chair of the Committee in 2020. Within the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Dr. Rivera has been an accreditation inspector for the past eight years. He also serves as a co-advisor for AZA’s Gorilla Species Survival Plan® (SSP). He has lectured at national and international conferences and has published work in the field of zoo and exotic animal medicine.

Dr. Rivera earned a BS degree in microbiology in 1992, and a DVM and MS degree in veterinary pathobiology in 1996 at Kansas State University. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine, the European College of Zoological Medicine specializing in Zoo Health Management, and the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (avian practice)

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