Animal Health Administrator
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
Year zoo career began:
Christine Bagtas is an Animal Health Administrator at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium where she provides administrative support to the zoo’s veterinarians and veterinary technicians. Her responsibilities range from helping them schedule preventive medicine procedures for the zoo’s animals to coordinating students for internship/ externship programs. Christine also helps to keep medical records and laboratory results up to date in the ZIMS database to ensure that the animals get their essential routine care completed. She tries to keep her department as organized as possible so that the animal health team can focus on providing great medical care.
Christine has always had a love for animals, and she found herself working in the animal field as a veterinary assistant in 2009. What began as a fun part-time job during college turned into a passion and a full-time job. Christine earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Biological Sciences and continued to pursue her career as a veterinary assistant for around 8 years. In 2017, Christine moved to the Pittsburgh area and chose to step away from a small animal clinic, although she knew she always wanted to be involved in animal healthcare. She found a job working with a local animal rescue group to help facilitate and promote adoptions, provide healthcare for adoptable cats, and foster neonatal kittens. Christine found herself eager to learn and challenge herself more, and in July 2019 she was hired in her current position at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.
Christine’s previous background in a veterinary clinic helps her understand the needs and priorities that the zoo’s veterinary team requires. Her role is a good example of the importance of supportive roles in animal care that people tend not to think about. There are many careers that allow you to help animals, even if you don’t work directly with them. Christine is proud to know that the work she does impacts the overall well-being of the animals at her zoo.