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Foundation News

2015 AAZK Conference

Chris Rico

23 year old Asian bull, Raja in full musth and listening intently during a training session with keepers

23 year old Asian bull, Raja in full musth and listening intently during a training session with keepers

President Linda Reifschneider (left) and Secretary Vanessa Gagne (right)

President Linda Reifschneider (left) and Secretary Vanessa Gagne (right)

September 2015 AAZK held their national conference in St. Louis, MO, which is also the headquarters of Asian Elephant Support.  AES President Linda Reifschneider is a 20+ year docent at the St. Louis Zoo and personally offered to sponsor one of the breaks during the presentations.  The AAZK hosts offered her a table to introduce AES to attendees.  AES Secretary Vanessa Gagne registered to attend the conference; and thus we enjoyed a week with dedicated animal care professionals and the opportunity to ‘talk elephants’ for many, many hours!  Vanessa signed up for the elephant workshop hosted by the St. Louis Zoo elephant staff.  It was a 12 hour credit course offered through the professional development committee of AAZK.  She was able to meet many elephant professionals from around the country and learn about the elephant management program at the St. Louis Zoo.  Linda and Vanessa were impressed with the turnout and the diversity of information presented by the zookeepers in attendance as well as enjoying the company of such dedicated, capable, and enthusiastic people.