Manager of Wild Encounters
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Year zoo career began:
Shae Miller is the Manager of Wild Encounters at the Cincinnati Zoo. She spends her time managing a team of exhibit interpreters and animal handlers made up of staff, interns, and volunteers. Shae is also an experienced animal handler and loves to take ambassador animals to appearances at news stations, sporting events, corporate partnerships, and everywhere else! Her passion is building connections between the public and wildlife. She hopes that through facilitating these experiences, people will feel empowered and inspired to participate in conservation action.
Shae has always loved animals and grew up in northeast Ohio, outside of Cleveland. As a child, she frequently visited SeaWorld Ohio and the Cleveland Zoo. During her visits, the staff members that took the time to answer her questions or that chose her for a volunteer during programs made an incredible impact on her and she wanted to be just like them. Shae got her first “zoo” job in the education department at SeaWorld San Antonio and realized that she loved informal education. From there, she moved to the Newport Aquarium in Kentucky before joining the Cincinnati Zoo in 2016. She has spent most of her time at the zoo in the Wild Encounters department contributing to the zoo’s vision of bringing visitors “close enough to care.”
Shae believes that community relationships are incredibly important to the success of zoos. She speaks at her middle school on “Career Day” and participates in neighborhood volunteer projects. In 2020, Shae won a Cincinnati’s 30 Under 30 Award for her dedication to conservation education and her commitment to the community. She wants to change the industry to ensure that the dream of working with wildlife is achievable to everyone from every walk of life and encourages all zoo professionals to get out and help out the communities around their facilities.