Meet the Atlanta Zookeepers

THU, JUN 12, 2008 (1:24:18)

Zookeepers Lisa Smith, Laura Mayo, and Joseph Mendelson lead a presentation of Behind-the-Scenes at Zoo Atlanta: Making a Difference at Home and Around the World. Lisa Smith presents the rarely-seen world of the truly “behind-the-scenes,” offering compelling insights into the challenges, innovations and surprises of day-to-day animal care at Zoo Atlanta. Laura Mayo introduces a clear call to action for orangutans; great apes that may face extinction within the next decade without focused conservation efforts. Through an in-depth look at the fight to save critically endangered amphibians, beaded lizards and turtles, Mendelson presents alarming realities and triumphant messages of hope that define 21st century conservation.

+ BIO: Laura Mayo

Laura Mayo has been working with primates for 25 years and at Zoo Atlanta for the past 19 years. She works in every capacity from keeper to her current position as Assistant Curator. While Laura has had the opportunity to work with all of the Great Apes, she has had the fortunate opportunity to be able to focus on orangutans. Laura has been working tirelessly to improve the lives of the 12 orangutans at Zoo Atlanta. Last year at the 2008 Orangutan SSP Husbandry Workshop, Laura presented the ground breaking work she is doing with AI. Laura will also be presenting at the 2009 Orangutan SSP Husbandry Workshop and giving training demonstrations.

+ BIO: Joseph Mendelson

Dr. Mendelson has been studying Neotropical amphibians and reptiles for almost 20 years, concentrating on Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Ecuador, and Peru. Most of his work has involved systematics and taxonomy including the discovery and description of about 50 new species of amphibians. Other studies have included phylogenetic studies, field ecology, and conservation. In recent years, as the crisis of global amphibian extinctions has really come to light, Dr. Mendelson has redirected much of his energy into conservation programs to help save amphibians and understand the root causes of their declines, and to conceive and implement pro-active conservation programs. This professional transition included transferring from an academic appointment to a position at a zoo. The results of his work have been published in journals such as Science, Molecular Ecology, and Journal of Herpetology.

Zoo Atlanta