by Mary Healy, Zoo Director/AZA Chair
I just recently returned from our annual conference of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) in Philadelphia. This was a very significant meeting for me for several reasons. On a personal note, it was meaningful because, the last time the Association held a conference in Philadelphia, I attended as a college student trying to find out about zoo careers. It proved to be very informative and productive because I was offered a job as a keeper at a zoo in Columbia, SC. On a professional note, I was returning as the Chair of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Board of Directors. In that role, I was essentially host to the opening session and many special lunches and meetings throughout the week. Our guest speakers included actor Sigourney Weaver and former Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt.
Sigourney with Jack Hanna
Returning to Sacramento, I was energized by the commitment and passion of my fellow members of the Association. During our week in Philadelphia over 2,000 delegates shared a common goal of working together to save wild animals and wild places. How fortunate we are to make our living in this very rewarding profession.