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Leah Miyamoto

Ethnicity:

Biracial (Japanese/ Caucasian)

Current position: 

Veterinary Technician

Current facility:

Woodland Park Zoo

Year zoo career began:

2014

Leah Miyamoto is a veterinary technician at the Woodland Park Zoo where she assists veterinarians with diagnostic and surgical procedures. Her daily tasks include filling medication prescriptions, sanitizing and sterilizing equipment, addressing urgent animal medical concerns or emergencies, and most importantly, working as a team with her coworkers to provide the best medical care to the zoo’s animals.

Leah earned a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from the University of Washington in Seattle and an associate degree in veterinary technician and became a Licensed Veterinary Technician in 2017 from Washington State University. Leah’s zoo career began when she completed a Professional Internship at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2013. After returning to Washington, Leah was hired as an exhibit attendant at the Woodland Park Zoo from 2014 to 2016 before working as a veterinary technician at 24-hour exotics-only animal hospital for 3 years. Leah volunteered at the Woodland Park Zoo in the Animal Health department starting in May 2019 as well. In 2020, Leah was offered her current position.

Leah loves that there is always something new to learn in her job and that every day is a little different. The position isn’t always glamorous, and there are lots of gross things she does, like cleaning up blood and vomit, working on necropsies, and looking closely at poop. The job also doesn’t make a lot of money, but it’s a very satisfying career path and Leah survives well by making smart financial decisions. Leah advises aspiring zoo veterinary technicians to take care of yourself, get involved in any way possible at a zoo, and don’t give up. It’s hard not to be discouraged or disappointed, but keep moving forward, and view obstacles as learning opportunities instead of walls on your path to success. Even if you don’t believe in yourself, Leah believes in you- don’t give up!