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Meeting challenges head-on

Hi there! It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged, but I wanted to this month to talk about a great opportunity we just had! This would have been our sixth year hosting a workshop for ambassador bird care professionals and managers, but with COVID-19, we almost had to skip it. With this situation comes new challenges, so we met this challenge head-on and hosted the first-ever VIRTUAL Ambassador Bird Welfare Workshop!

In a normal year, we get about 12 to 15 participants for a two-and-a-half-day hands-on, immersive, workshop all about working with birds in an ambassador setting. That means birds who might fly free during presentations or sit on a person’s glove for an up-close encounter. This year, however, we had to give up the hands-on portion of the workshop and focus on the seminars and discussions instead. The silver lining is that instead of only 15 participants, we had 58! We had folks from over 35 different zoos and rehabilitation centers tune in for two four-hour sessions where we talked about animal care, training, and welfare. We had some great discussions and the workshop was well received by all attendees. When asked if they learned something new, every one of them said yes! This was a great learning opportunity for everyone involved, but I hope next year we can meet in person.

Rebecca Young
Associate Curator of Ambassador Animals

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl