We’re proudly home to over 900 animals and it’s a team effort to provide a nutritional diet, stimulating enrichment, safe habitats and veterinary attention to every single one.
Believe it or not, compiling and recording information regarding each animal is the responsibility of just one person. In a corner office behind the Zoo, Sharon spends most days sifting through paperwork that comes across her desk. She’s our registrar, meaning she manages all animal-related records and adds their data to a central electronic filing system. The animal wellness team relies on her detailed notes to provide the best possible care for our collection.
Sharon’s brain is filled with individual animal names and, even more impressively, their designated identification numbers. She says that’s a skill that comes with the repetitive inputting of data about each of them. As the animals breed, she adds newborns to the pedigree, or “family tree,” of each species.
Being a registrar is more than keeping records; she continuously monitors legislation to ensure our compliance with wildlife laws. When a species is set to arrive or leave our facility, Sharon conducts research to determine which institutions we may work with and obtains the state and federal permits required for their transport.
Sharon is a native New Yorker who first fell in love with the black squirrels at the Bronx Zoo, sparking her interest in a career working with animals. Her passion guided her pursuit to volunteer at wildlife rehabilitation centers, aquariums and zoos. While earning her biology degree from Florida State University, she worked as an animal keeper at the Tallahassee Living Museum.
Sharon and her college sweetheart relocated to Melbourne in 2009 when she joined our team as a keeper in La Selva, and she was eventually promoted to animal supervisor. In 2013, her impressive work ethic and attention to detail led her to transition into the registrar position.
Sharon says interacting with people and animals throughout the Zoo makes it easy to come to work every day; she loves working with keepers to monitor animal behaviors, discussing diet changes with animal staff, looking at important medical records and updating the marketing department about any incoming or outgoing animals.
The registrar may not be the face of the Zoo, but it’s one position we couldn’t operate without. Diligence, efficiency and a true passion for animals make Sharon an extremely valuable member of our Zoo family!