educated zookeeper, llc
My name is Deb and I am a passionate biologist committed to advocating for animals in care by promoting best husbandry. Animal care is an art that balances natural history, observational skills, an understanding of behavior, and the ability to be humble enough to recognize, none of that may matter.
I have twenty+ years of professional husbandry experience both in the private sector and within professional organizations such as AZA. Currently, I am a full-time curator in an accredited facility, responsible for co-managing large multi-taxa exhibits and a team of biologists. Although my experience is with all taxa, my professional focus has been on small mammals and avian husbandry as well as innovative approaches to animal behavior.
In addition to my full-time job as a curator, I own and operate an LLC, The Educated Zookeeper. Funds from the Educated Zookeeper support my passion project, the Science of Sloths, which helps Choloepus spp. outside of home countries in need, regardless of their professional affiliation or ability to pay.
Through Educated Zookeeper, I am available to lead workshops, assess plans to retrofit exhibits or create new builds, provide interim husbandry support, and develop collection plans. Common problems addressed through consultative services include moving animals to/from the exhibit easily, removing ill animals, the inability to retrieve offspring, and interpreting social behavior to prevent premature deaths. Consultative services may also include reproduction, training, recall behavior planning, and collection planning.
We had the best experience with our in person Sloth School workshop! Deb had so much amazing information to share and was very responsive to all of our questions. The hands on part was very helpful in case of emergencies. I felt that the workshop was well suited for any sloth caretaker who wants to do the very best for their animals! Would highly recommend this engaging course! Deb has become a resource that has already proven time and time again to be amazing!
I attended a seminar by Deb Dial on husbandry of two toed sloths and acquired invaluable information on sloth handling and infant care. The knowledge and skills I have learned through this seminar have been exceptionally useful in my work and shared with colleagues. Her guidance regarding emergency handling procedure is extremely memorable and practical, and has allowed me to ensure the safety of animal keepers and animals during critical situations. I am grateful for Deb Dial’s unique and valuable insight on sloth management, and I highly recommend her expertise for all who may be interested.