Year zoo career began:
Tammy Schmidt is the Assistant Director at the Niabi Zoo, but in her long zoo career she has worked in a variety of positions including zoo volunteer, educator, veterinary technician, and zookeeper. Tammy’s career has taken her through nine different zoological facilities including the St. Louis Zoo, Philadelphia Zoo, and Santa Fe Teaching Zoo. Her years of experience and diverse animal husbandry background serve her well in her current position as a manager of both people and animals.
One of Tammy’s favorite parts of her career is that she has been able to work with a wide variety of animals and experience very different perspectives. For example, she has drawn blood on rhino, handled five different species of cockroaches, and scuba dived to clean a hippo pool. Some of Tammy’s favorite species are carnivores, but she has also trimmed bald eagle beaks and safely handled venomous snakes. Tammy’s exotic animal experience in zoos has also catalyzed her interest in ex situ conservation and travel to natural habitats, resulting in work with lions in Namibia, giant otters in Colombia, and polar bears in Canada.
Tammy finds a joy in knowing that there will never be a day she stops learning in the zoo field, and has spent time coauthoring published papers and presenting paper and posters at conferences. She loves that the animal care field and profession is limitless in amazing experiences, evidenced by her amazing career. Tammy hopes to share her experiences as a female in our professional and to share any and all knowledge that she has gained through her years in the field.