Tim Sampson

Leading Through Trauma

Tim started his adventure way back in the late 70’s early 80’s at the Cincinnati Zoo as a volunteer in their children’s zoo. During the 10 years he spent there he moved from volunteering to seasonal work in Concessions, and then the children’s zoo, bird show, as well as taking care of Dr. Dresser’s house cat colony. After completing his last 2 years of high school at the zoo in the Animal Conservation and Care program, he attended Moorpark College’s EATM program.

Since leaving Moorpark he has had the opportunity to work in many different areas of the animal field, from dolphin trainer to working for Siegfried and Roy in Las Vegas, and has worked at institutions from California to Florida to Michigan. Throughout his career, he has spent over 30 years working with carnivores, mainly felids. During that time he has had the opportunity to train, hand rear, design exhibits, introduce new exhibit mates, plan and implement animal transfers, as well as establish their current husbandry, safety and training protocols for a variety of animals.

He is now at John Ball Zoo and has been there for over 30 years. He started as a keeper and then moved up to a curator position. As curator he oversees a large part of their mammal collection. Other duties include development and implementation of the zoo’s policies and procedures, safety programs when it involves PDA’s, emergency firearms, and dive programs, plays an active role in their master and collection planning, conservation planning, as well as reviewing research projects that the zoo is asked to participate in. Currently he is a member of the AZA Safety Committee and lead for the Escape and Exposures subcommittee, Felid Tag steering committee, as well as a steering committee member with the snow leopard and lion SSP’s.

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