Year zoo career began:
Dr. Margarita Woc-Colburn is the Associate Veterinarian at the Phoenix Zoo. Her interests include exotic animal anesthesia and critical care in zoological species. Margarita has also been working on determining causes of mortality within the captive Giant anteater and tamandua population and evaluating how we can improve their husbandry, veterinary and nutritional care.
Margarita was born in Guatemala and lived between Guatemala, Panama, and the United States while growing up. Between being a combination of Latin American, Asian, American with a tinge of Scottish blood, she considers herself a melting pot of cultures. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with an MS in Conservation Biology and from Cornell University with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2003. After veterinary school, she completed a one-year small animal medicine and surgery internship at MSPCA Angell Memorial Western New England Animal Hospital, followed by 3 years working in a 24/7 referral critical care and emergency hospital in Seattle, Washington. In 2010, she completed a 3-year zoo residency at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in conjunction with Oklahoma City Zoo before working as an Associate Veterinarian at the Nashville Zoo. In 2022, she moved to her current position at the Phoenix Zoo.
Margarita is currently the veterinary advisor for the Xenarthra Taxon Advisory Group, the Southern Tamandua Species Survival Plan (SSP), and Giant Anteater SSP; and is the Secretary for the Veterinary Advisory Group within the AZA. She is also part of the Scientific Advisory board for Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF). Recently she has been a main consultant for CCF, helping them with cheetahs confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade in Somaliland, and is the author of the clinical medicine chapter in their book Cheetahs – Biology and Conservation. When not at the zoo, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her dog Marcus Aurelius.