Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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Erna’s career at the zoo has so far spanned over almost three decades.  Originally a zoo keeper for the first twelve years, Erna then moved on to becoming a curator at Taronga Zoo and is now Senior Curator for both Taronga Zoo and Taronga Western Plains Zoo. 


Amongst her many achievements she has published a book on caring for and rehabilitating native wildlife.  As a senior curator it is her role to oversee the entire management process for all the animals in both zoos care.   From in house to worldwide breeding and conservation programs, each decision is made with careful planning and consultation as to which zoo the animals will live in, now and in the future, who they will breed with dependant on genetic diversity and exactly where in the zoo they will live. 

Erna’s greater goal is to further progress zoos in contributing to the conservation of wildlife through education and managing successful breeding programs both regionally and globally.  She is also most passionate about animal welfare.   Providing dignity, respect and the best care for our animals and strives to be a leader and advocate for animal welfare. 

Erna says animal behaviour never ceases to amaze her.  “ Magic moments are when you connect with an animal at some level.  Dancing with a Brolga, laughing with a Chimp, getting a purr from a Tiger or a friendly rumble from a Gorilla.  I have had many moments of pure joy spending time with wild creatures and getting a small insight into their world.”