Employee Support in 2023: The Care and Feeding of Your Employees

Session Description

You’ll never MAKE a rhino do anything. Whether we like to admit it or not, the same is true for our employees. We can’t MAKE them show up on time, we can’t MAKE them be nice to our guests and we can’t MAKE them wear our uniform.

Instead, we should be focusing on creating an environment where they WANT to do these things because they see the positive outcome of their behavior. This is about engagement, influence and igniting the internal motivational fire, not command and control. Animal care professionals know all too well that to influence a rhino’s behavior, they must speak its language and build trust. The same goes for our employees. In this session, the animal care team from Lion Country Safari in Florida will help us better understand the incredible work they do in training and enriching the lives of the animals in their care. We will then explore how those concepts can be applied to your employees to build trust, create autonomy, and positively influence daily actions.


  • Ashleigh Kandrac, Curator, Lion Country Safari

  • Kelly Freyder, Primate Curator, Lion Country Safari

  • Kimberlee Wuenstel, Training & Enrichment Curator, Lion Country Safari

  • Brian Dowling, Wildlife Director, Lion Country Safari


 CEUs: N/A

 Session Time: 60 minutes

 Language: American English

 Key Features: Recording of live presentation from IAAPA Expo 2023


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