Biracial (Black/ White)
Year zoo career began:
Jawnie Payne is an ambassador animal keeper at the Nashville Zoo where she works with some amazing animals including Clouded Leopards, caracals, an aardvark, and a Rhino Hornbill. Jawnie grew up in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, and loved animals since she was young. After a visit to the Columbus Zoo during college, Jawnie changed her major and began working seasonally in different positions at the Columbus Zoo. She was able to work with animal ambassadors and decided that was her path. In 2015, Jawnie worked at the Fort Worth Zoo and gained full time experience. In 2018, Jawnie moved to her current position. She is studying a Master of Arts in Biology with Project Dragonfly and Miami University, which allows her to travel for exciting field work to places like Baja California.