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Tamara Sanchez

Ethnicity:

Hispanic

Current position: 

Conservation/ Zoo Interpreter

Current facility:

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Year zoo career began:

2016

Tamara is an interpreter or educator at Disney’s Animal Kingdom where she translates what she knows about an animal’s natural behavior or history into an explanation that people of all ages and backgrounds can understand. She hopes that this communication will inspire people to care, learn, and protect our natural world. Tamara’s days are always different. One day she could be hanging out with gorillas and hippos, and the next day she might be spending time with Komodo dragons and tigers. She is honored to work in a coordinator role, which means she also looks out for the educator team. Tamara’s current goals are to continue to bring an inviting, informative, and inspiring message to everyone who visits Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Tamara was born and raised in Puerto Rico, which has a natural biodiversity but does not have a lot of career opportunities with animals. Growing up in the Caribbean really formed her love and wonder for nature. Tamara earned a Biology degree in Puerto Rico without really knowing how to get her foot in the door in the zoological field. She began her zoo career with a paid internship with the education team at Disney in 2016. In the following five years, she has held various positions throughout the Animals, Science, and Environment team at Disney including working as part of the Animal Care team as a nutrition assistant in the animal nutrition center. Tamara has also completed unpaid volunteer work with a big cat center in St. Cloud, Florida, where she helped care for 22 big cats.

Tamara’s favorite part of her job is getting to know the animals’ personalities, quirks, and preferences, and then being able to share that information with guests. The best feeling is when someone walks away inspired to make a positive change for our natural spaces and animals! Tamara’s recommendation to an aspiring zoo professional is to find the time to volunteer as early in your career and as for as long as possible. Experience is a big thing in the zoo world and can help you develop a knowledge and instinct when working with animals. Be open to learning, as we are always discovering new things in our field.