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African Painted Dog - Carnivore Zookeeper Casey Taylor
Episode 15313th December 2021 • Your Positive Imprint • Catherine Praiswater
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A zookeeper’s story: Carnivore zookeeper Casey Taylor of Albuquerque Bio Park shares information on African Painted Dogs, shigella virus, primates, wolves and more. 


Transcripts

Catherine:

This episode is dedicated to Jerry Taylor.

Catherine:

He is the dad of today's guest.

Catherine:

Casey Jerry passed away suddenly just days after my recorded conversation with Casey, Jerry certainly has much to be proud of as his daughter's positive imprints extend worldwide.

Casey Taylor:

Hi everybody.

Casey Taylor:

My name's Casey Taylor.

Casey Taylor:

I'm a senior zookeeper here at the Albuquerque bio park in New Mexico, United States.

Casey Taylor:

I'm here in front of the painted dog exhibit today.

Casey Taylor:

We are gonna talk a lot about the African painted dog and different things going on with them.

Casey Taylor:

But I also want to talk to everybody about kind of what I do throughout my whole day here at the BioPark as a keeper.

Casey Taylor:

I take care of a lot of the carnivores here, which includes these amazing animals behind me.

Casey Taylor:

They're taking their afternoon siesta right now, which is very typical of large carnivores.

Casey Taylor:

She just popped her head up to say hi.

Casey Taylor:

So yeah, that's what I'm going to be talking about today;

Casey Taylor:

how we take care of these animals and how we contribute to the overall conservation of a lot of different species, including the African painted dogs and how important and crucial.

Casey Taylor:

All these species are to maintaining healthy ecosystems across the world and here in Albuquerque as well.

Catherine:

Casey, I am just so incredibly excited to have you here on the show and to hear not only your positive imprints, but also to be educated by the information that you have to provide,

Catherine:

So let's first start off with Casey.

Casey Taylor:

Well, first of all, I'm very happy to be doing this.

Casey Taylor:

I love reaching out to the community and across the world to teach about what I do and what we all do here at the bio park, as well as across the nation.

Casey Taylor:

And why, what we do impacts things that you might not think about.

Casey Taylor:

We're reaching out, across the oceans and impacting things going on in Africa.

Casey Taylor:

So I really appreciate the opportunity to discuss that all with you.

Casey Taylor:

So thank you so

Catherine:

much.

Catherine:

Absolutely.

Catherine:

So you are a senior, so keep her first tell us what that means.

Casey Taylor:

So that means I'm I'm kind of in charge of a string of animals.

Casey Taylor:

I'm trained with all of the carnivores here at the bio park.

Casey Taylor:

But I do have one primary area I work, and those species include, uh, the polar bear.

Casey Taylor:

So we have two polar bears, the African painted dogs, of course.

Casey Taylor:

And the Mexican gray wolves, Harbor seals cheetahs spotted hyenas.

Casey Taylor:

And then I'm also trained with all the large cats that you may see on the catwalk as well as the small cats out there too.

Casey Taylor:

As a senior zookeeper, Every day I come in, I check on all my animals.

Casey Taylor:

A lot of them need to be medicated daily.

Casey Taylor:

I medicate, I train.

Casey Taylor:

The first thing I do every day is it's really important to the safety of the public as well as my fellow coworkers is the top most priority for me when I come in in the morning.

Casey Taylor:

So my first thing is checking all the exhibits, making sure nothing happened overnight that needs addressing before we let the public in before we open to the public.

Casey Taylor:

So that's kind of my, my first first priority.

Casey Taylor:

Second priority is the welfare of all my animals.

Casey Taylor:

So, that's what I'm doing every day.

Casey Taylor:

I check and I'm with my animals, a lot.

Casey Taylor:

All of my animals, except for the Harbor seals that I work with are close contact.

Casey Taylor:

That means that we do not go in with them because they are fairly dangerous.

Casey Taylor:

And so that kind of limits some of the interactions we can have, but it also creates a trust between me and the animal where I'm not gonna force myself into their space.

Casey Taylor:

And then I am always comfortable because I'm always safe.

Casey Taylor:

So maintaining and building relationships among all the animals I work with is also a really important aspect of my job.

Casey Taylor:

And I've been here at the bio park for about four years now.

Casey Taylor:

I started as a temp keeper in the clinic and then eventually moved on to become a senior keeper here in the carnivore department.

Casey Taylor:

I'm lucky enough at the Bio Park to be an Albuquerque city employee, which is different than a lot of other zoos and aquariums.

Casey Taylor:

I tend to have better benefits than a lot of other zoo keepers.

Casey Taylor:

It can be a very difficult job, physically, mentally, emotionally, all of that.

Casey Taylor:

I feel very lucky that I have good vacation time, good sick leave, things like that.

Casey Taylor:

We are always looking out for each other.

Casey Taylor:

And so I feel really lucky to be working here at this facility.

Casey Taylor:

We do work at an AZA acredited facility, so there are certain standards that we have to meet.

Casey Taylor:

And we always try to go above and beyond those standards with all of our animals.

Casey Taylor:

And we do have upper management that supports that.

Casey Taylor:

You can't find people that care more about animals than people who work at this facility.

Casey Taylor:

This job very difficult all across the board, even into upper management.

Casey Taylor:

So if you're not here for the animals, you're going to find somewhere else to go.

Catherine:

Casey earned her bachelor's degree in Marine biology.

Catherine:

As an intern, she worked at the Oregon zoo where she discovered what zoo life is like, and she fell in love with it.

Catherine:

But life took her in a different direction following graduation.

Catherine:

She worked as a vet tech with small animals, including exotic species, reptiles and birds.

Catherine:

She moved to New Mexico with her husband and the work as a vet- tech gained her the experience for what lay ahead.

Casey Taylor:

I got a position in the clinic.

Casey Taylor:

But that wasn't a permanent position.

Casey Taylor:

We do sometimes have what's called temporary positions here, which aren't through the city, but it really helps build somebody's comfort and confidence and education

Casey Taylor:

And from there I learned about all the different departments and when an opening came up, I was lucky enough to get it.

Casey Taylor:

And I worked as an entry-level keeper here in the carnivore department for a few years and then a senior position opened and I applied for that and I got it.

Catherine:

Well congratulations.

Catherine:

Yeah.

Catherine:

Thank you.

Catherine:

Casey has a connection with the animals and she's dedicated to Albuquerque's BioPark carnivores.

Catherine:

She explains her relationship with the animals

Casey Taylor:

They are, you know, intimidating in a lot of ways, but they're also so amazing.

Casey Taylor:

A lot of them are a lot smarter than we might give them credit for.

Casey Taylor:

They have a lot more interaction with people.

Casey Taylor:

I have formed connections with all the carnivores I worked with, even if I'm only there for a short time, or if I'm not their primary keeper, if I'm not with them every day, we still have formed some sort of connection.

Casey Taylor:

I just love it.

Casey Taylor:

I don't really know what else to say.

Casey Taylor:

Like they, they're just amazing creatures.

Casey Taylor:

A lot of the times they need somebody to advocate for them.

Casey Taylor:

Just love them and their personalities.

Casey Taylor:

The hyenas are actually the ones that kind of tipped me over into really pursuing the carnivore department because they're just so smart and so fun.

Casey Taylor:

And yeah, I've just fallen in love with every species I've worked with here.

Casey Taylor:

And I just.

Casey Taylor:

So excited.

Casey Taylor:

I got the opportunity when I did, and it's really helped me grow as a person as well as a animal caregiver.

Catherine:

And I'm glad you mentioned the word advocate because they can't advocate for themselves.

Catherine:

We can't do our jobs.

Catherine:

None of us can do our jobs without that education and bringing that to the people.

Catherine:

What about when you lose an animal?

Casey Taylor:

Oh, it's it's, it's devastating.

Casey Taylor:

That's why at the beginning, I mentioned that it's, this job is difficult.

Casey Taylor:

Physically it's difficult.

Casey Taylor:

We're working outside.

Casey Taylor:

We have to lift heavy things.

Casey Taylor:

We are constantly moving, but the emotional difficulty is, is always present.

Casey Taylor:

These animals often live way longer lifespans than they would in the wild here in captivity.

Casey Taylor:

But that also gives you so much more time to build relationships.

Casey Taylor:

Yeah.

Casey Taylor:

And absolutely.

Casey Taylor:

So.

Casey Taylor:

It is hard.

Catherine:

Are there counseling services?

Casey Taylor:

Oh yeah.

Casey Taylor:

We, we actually, that's a, that's a great point.

Casey Taylor:

I find the comradery of the team, very cathartic.

Casey Taylor:

But also city employees have access to a counselor, so that's that's been really helpful, uh, that people know that they can reach out and schedule a session and it's covered.

Casey Taylor:

And you can go during work hours and it's not, it's not frowned upon.

Casey Taylor:

It's not, you know, it's not well, it's part of your job.

Casey Taylor:

Exactly.

Casey Taylor:

Absolutely.

Catherine:

Some of the things that are happening right now with the bacteria.

Casey Taylor:

Yeah.

Casey Taylor:

The primate department is going through a very difficult time right now.

Casey Taylor:

The rest of the zoo is trying to rally as much as we can.

Casey Taylor:

Of course.

Casey Taylor:

As, as a carnivore keeper, I don't take care of any of the primates.

Casey Taylor:

And they've kept us very separated at this point physically, because of the because of the bacterial infection, cause humans can get it.

Casey Taylor:

We help where we can.

Casey Taylor:

We've been chopping diets.

Casey Taylor:

There's a whole team of people taking care of the baby siamang.

Casey Taylor:

The baby siamang is always on a human who, you know, lost both of his parents.

Casey Taylor:

It's yeah, it's it was, it is devastating.

Casey Taylor:

It's, it's hard, but, but we're pulling together as best we can.

Casey Taylor:

And, and I think.

Casey Taylor:

When it's all said and done that the primate team I think is going to be an incredibly tight knit group and we're all there to try to lift them up any way we can.

Casey Taylor:

I'm getting emotional, just talking about it.

Casey Taylor:

I feel horrible, even though they weren't animals that I worked directly with, we all love all the animals here.

Catherine:

the Shigella virus not related to COVID, has taken the lives of several of the Bio Park's primates.

Catherine:

And unfortunately, the baby Siamang, Rue, who Casey talked about, passed away due to complications from this virus.

Catherine:

It is truly heartbreaking because it was preventable.

Catherine:

When visiting an animal park, please remember to not feed the animals.

Catherine:

The primates in Albuquerque at the Bio Park are still at risk and zookeepers are very cautious, even wearing specific types of PPE when feeding and working with the non-human primates.

Catherine:

Shigella is still a threat.

Catherine:

I certainly thank the primate zookeepers and veterinarians for their dedication.

Casey Taylor:

It's, it's very difficult.

Casey Taylor:

I mean, and it's difficult for us all, not even when we necessarily lose an animal, but a lot of our animals are transferred.

Casey Taylor:

It's it's hard.

Casey Taylor:

Uh, the first tiger I worked with Panari got transferred and it was, it was rough on me.

Casey Taylor:

But, they get transferred for all, all sorts of different reasons.

Catherine:

On that note, let's go to the African painted dog.

Catherine:

Yes.

Catherine:

Which if you could help me pronounce the correct term, Lycaon pictus yeah.

Catherine:

Which literally means painted Wolf.

Catherine:

I absolutely love that name painted Wolf.

Catherine:

The African painted dog, I just love.

Catherine:

I want to advocate for, them.

Catherine:

They're almost extinct in the wild.

Catherine:

They're critically endangered

Casey Taylor:

and it's, it's heartbreaking to hear that.

Casey Taylor:

In the wild population they're looking at about 6,000 to 7,000 max.

Casey Taylor:

And a lot of that is the lack of education.

Casey Taylor:

Like you were mentioning before and advocacy.

Casey Taylor:

Painted dogs used to be referred to a lot as wild dogs.

Casey Taylor:

So a lot of people would have heard that name for this species.

Casey Taylor:

We're trying to steer away from that name just because of the negative connotation that projects.

Catherine:

Well and also it's the correct name exactly which is painted Wolf.

Catherine:

So painted

Casey Taylor:

dog is, is way more accurate description.

Casey Taylor:

They're beautiful.

Casey Taylor:

Just gorgeous.

Casey Taylor:

Their coloration is just so unique and so amazing.

Casey Taylor:

And their ears are just so big.

Casey Taylor:

And charismatic because they are so social.

Casey Taylor:

The social cues cues they give to each other

Casey Taylor:

we can see that when they're interacting with us or just watching them, you can, you can kind of read their body language a lot easier than some other animals, because

Casey Taylor:

It is heartbreaking.

Casey Taylor:

There are a lot of efforts right now which, which we'll talk about.

Casey Taylor:

I was really interested with the painted dog conservation fund started by Greg Rasmussen.

Casey Taylor:

We've had him here at the bio park, a number of times for different

. Catherine:

He's from England.

. Catherine:

Isn't he

Casey Taylor:

he's from England, but he does live in Africa.

Casey Taylor:

He is like the main authority on African painted dogs.

Casey Taylor:

And I did,

Catherine:

I sent a note to see if I can get anybody from

Casey Taylor:

the organization.

Casey Taylor:

Yeah.

Casey Taylor:

Well, that would be great if you can get anybody because he's been to the BioPark at least a few times, I've seen him once since I've started.

Casey Taylor:

And then we pay for him to come out here.

Casey Taylor:

He does a little talk about his recent projects and what's going on and how the numbers are looking and things like that.

Casey Taylor:

And it really actually, it helps a lot for us to understand our captive animals when we're learning at the same time the studies going on in the wild.

Casey Taylor:

So I just think that's great and a huge impact he's had on some of the wild population lately has been a lot of them, there's a huge stretch of highway

Casey Taylor:

So he's been able to get reflective collars on a number of individuals in packs and also change signage along the freeway.

Casey Taylor:

And make it more, uh, more alerting to the drivers, like what the speed limit actually is and how it will be enforced.

Casey Taylor:

So, that's actually helped at least in Zimbabwe up a lot of the population numbers just in the past few years.

Casey Taylor:

His work is phenomenal.

Casey Taylor:

And that's kind of where we look to, that's our main kind of contact over in Africa from the BioPark, , standpoint.

Casey Taylor:

The painted dogs are amazing because they not only take care of their young, but they'll take care of each other, which is rare even in social carnivores.

Casey Taylor:

Like if an animal is injured, other adults will bring it, prey to eat food, to eat until they rehab, which is just amazing to see because it takes extra effort.

Catherine:

It almost takes critical

Catherine:

thinking.

Casey Taylor:

Yes.

Casey Taylor:

It's just amazing that they do that for each other.

Casey Taylor:

So we don't do any breeding here because of our limited size.

Casey Taylor:

So how we help the species here is by taking individuals that are either not being incorporated into a pack, a healthy way, like maybe they're being picked on.

Casey Taylor:

Or they're just not integrating well, in the wild, they, at that point, they would be able to go off and go try a different pack or go do something else.

Casey Taylor:

But when they're in captivity, they're forced into the pack that they are.

Casey Taylor:

So, keepers in other facilities , recognize that maybe an individual is having problems.

Casey Taylor:

We also take non- breeding females.

Casey Taylor:

We do have a male and a female in here, but the female is spayed.

Casey Taylor:

So we don't have to worry about any breeding.

Casey Taylor:

So that's kind of our job for the painted dogs is taking, taking dogs and creating kind of a, a mishmash pack that will be happy and healthy for the rest of their lives.

Casey Taylor:

Cause even, if a dog isn't gonna contribute any more to a breeding or continue lineage, they're still important individuals.

Casey Taylor:

And that's what we're here to do.

Casey Taylor:

All the individuals at our zoo are important.

Casey Taylor:

We give them the best life for as long as we can.

Casey Taylor:

Daily for these guys, I feed them, I check them over; get visual eyes on them every day, enrich them every day so when we bring them into their

Casey Taylor:

These guys are really into different scents.

Casey Taylor:

They really like new smells and they'll role in it and get all excited.

Casey Taylor:

They make lots of noises.

Casey Taylor:

Also food enrichment is a big one.

Casey Taylor:

So scattering food, things like that.

Casey Taylor:

So just honestly giving them the best life they possibly can.

Casey Taylor:

That's that's really what we're here for.

Catherine:

You're providing an education to every single person that reads the sign and looks at the animal.

Catherine:

And I know that we are in North America, but even our voice cause people are going to grow up and they're going to go to Africa.

Catherine:

And so that voice is important.

Casey Taylor:

Absolutely.

Casey Taylor:

People don't want to save something unless they care about it.

Casey Taylor:

And that's, that's what we're here for.

Casey Taylor:

Providing the animals with the best life, but in a way that shows

Casey Taylor:

and educates people.

Casey Taylor:

Once people see them, they instantly do care about them.

Casey Taylor:

They're amazing.

Casey Taylor:

They're amazing to watch.

Casey Taylor:

They're amazing even to watch sleeping.

Casey Taylor:

They're so beautiful.

Casey Taylor:

It's hard to have eyes on these animals and not care.

Casey Taylor:

I love it when kids are, anybody gets

Casey Taylor:

like wow moment.

Catherine:

So Casey, I know that there's reintroduction programs all over the world for wild animals.

Catherine:

You mentioned that this is a non breeding program, but is there any chance

Catherine:

the African painted dog will go back into

Casey Taylor:

the wild.

Casey Taylor:

Like I said, we're not breeding them here right now, but it is crucial that we keep the genetic diversity of the captive population up for potential re-introduction down the line.

Casey Taylor:

In Africa they help wild painted dogs out where they'll provide food kind of half captive, half wild situations, as well as rehab.

Casey Taylor:

Here at the bio park, something that we do with another carnivore that is very comparable to the painted dog is the Mexican gray Wolf.

Casey Taylor:

We do have a breeding facility here.

Casey Taylor:

All of our Mexican gray wolves are actually owned by fish and wildlife so we work really closely with them and we treat all of the Mexican gray wolves that come through here as potential release, because we

Casey Taylor:

We also do a lot of rehab work with wild Mexican gray wolves.

Casey Taylor:

So if any are injured, we will house them here and rehabilitate them.

Casey Taylor:

We've recently had seven pups born here that were transferred to Mexico.

Casey Taylor:

That was a really big, positive impact we had.

Casey Taylor:

The wild population of the Mexican grey wolf is like less than 300 individuals.

Casey Taylor:

It's like, gosh, I didn't know.

Casey Taylor:

It was very low.

Casey Taylor:

And it's all happened because of reintroduction efforts.

Casey Taylor:

They had only seven individuals at one point in time.

Casey Taylor:

So, so the work we do with them actually translates into bigger population numbers in the wild directly, which is amazing.

Casey Taylor:

And they are.

Casey Taylor:

Uh, a good indicator species when you're looking at re-introduction techniques that can be incorporated with painted dogs as well.

Casey Taylor:

Because like I've said earlier that they have similar issues when it comes to people.

Casey Taylor:

And they are hunted down for the same reasons -livestock or habitat destruction, things like that.

Casey Taylor:

It's very similar animal.

Casey Taylor:

Very different environments, obviously different continents, but but it is something that we're doing here directly at the BioPark with the Wolf population

Casey Taylor:

This is a natural range for that Mexican gray wolves.

Casey Taylor:

We have a better opportunity to naturalize them to, to what they would expect in the wild.

Casey Taylor:

So, we're, we're constantly moving them around and creating the best genetic matches that we possibly can.

Casey Taylor:

We need to maintain that genetic diversity within the captive population.

Casey Taylor:

So we're ready when government gets the go-ahead basically for, for an area that we have, we have wolves that we can introduce there.

Catherine:

I used to volunteer back in the nineties when they were doing the Wolf reintroduction.

Catherine:

Well, that's a great program for sharing that.

Catherine:

Thank you.

Catherine:

Thank you.

Catherine:

Yeah,

Casey Taylor:

when,

Catherine:

When you're working with the African painted dog, the relationship that you have, they recognize your voice.

Catherine:

Yeah.

Catherine:

What do you think that does for them that they recognize somebody's voice that they trust and probably that's the key word trust, right?

Casey Taylor:

I think it makes everything more of their choice and they know that they can decide where they want to be and what they want to do.

Casey Taylor:

And if they want to.

Casey Taylor:

They choose to have a relationship with me.

Casey Taylor:

I can't force anything on them.

Casey Taylor:

It's incredibly important with all our large carnivores that they have some sort of trust with us because we need them to move in certain spaces or, be able to access them for veterinary care, things like that.

Casey Taylor:

So, Always intuitive with every individual.

Casey Taylor:

It's something that we build over time.

Casey Taylor:

Uh, our female in here, it took a lot to get her to a point where she's comfortable with certain individuals.

Casey Taylor:

And honestly, if something happens, if there's a lot of construction or she does have to be knocked down for a vet exam, it takes me a long time to build it back up, but it's always worth it for us

Casey Taylor:

Without always stressing her out.

Casey Taylor:

We don't want to have to dart any animal.

Casey Taylor:

We don't have to have to physically restrain or hold down an animal when we don't have to.

Casey Taylor:

We would rather have that a choice that they make a trained choice.

Casey Taylor:

And like I said, every individual's a little different.

Casey Taylor:

The male in here is much easier, more trusting.

Casey Taylor:

He's also way more submissive.

Casey Taylor:

She's the dominant one.

Casey Taylor:

So you always have to work with each individual's personality and what they're comfortable with.

Casey Taylor:

But I do believe it provides them when they do have people that they trust it gives them a better chance at a better life and just a more comfortable, lower stress situation.

Casey Taylor:

So that's why it is crucial for the keepers to be aware of the relationships they have.

Casey Taylor:

And sometimes you might break a relationship and not be able to mend it and you need to be okay asking somebody else to step in and be that person for that animal.

Casey Taylor:

Yes.

Casey Taylor:

Wow.

Casey Taylor:

That, wow.

Casey Taylor:

Yeah.

Casey Taylor:

And it's hard, especially if you put in a lot of time and effort to build up some trust, but sometimes something happened and you might not even really realize what it was, but they

Casey Taylor:

You always have to put them first.

Casey Taylor:

And so it's not always about us as keepers and how good of a trainer we are, how awesome we are at connecting with animals.

Casey Taylor:

Something might happen that is completely out of your control and you just have to be okay with it.

Catherine:

That's a very good point.

Catherine:

And I'm glad that you brought that up because that brings a little bit more reality of what you do deal with and that you do have to be careful and considerate yes

Catherine:

with the animals.

Catherine:

Right now, if we could get somewhat of an explanation of what is going on in Africa as to why the painted dog is critically endangered.

Casey Taylor:

It's almost equivalent to the wolves in North America.

Casey Taylor:

So a lot of communities and farmers and your dog just sneezed.

Casey Taylor:

That is actually a form of maybe not right now at this moment, but in the wild populations, a sneeze is a vote like, if they want to go hunting or not.

Casey Taylor:

There'll be a big group.

Casey Taylor:

And if more of them sneeze than don't, they're like, okay, so I'm going to go hunt.

Casey Taylor:

Or if the, if the most dominant pair sneezes, usually they go out and hunt.

Casey Taylor:

Anyway, that's one of the one study that's kind of going on right now that they're trying to figure a little bit more out.

Casey Taylor:

So the road is definitely a problem, you know, strike by cars, but, but it's a lot like the wolves in North America where it's a lot of farmers, ranchers just communities having fear of them and maybe

Casey Taylor:

People were uncomfortable living close to predators.

Casey Taylor:

These animals are not very big.

Casey Taylor:

They're not very aggressive.

Casey Taylor:

They're relatively easy to kill.

Casey Taylor:

And that's what happened to them.

Casey Taylor:

Also just their territory being encroached upon habitat destruction.

Casey Taylor:

But a lot of it it's, it's very comparable to wolves in North America.

Casey Taylor:

Normally the BioPark does send keepers to Africa for different conservation work.

Casey Taylor:

And I wanted to start incorporating, painted dog work into that as well.

Casey Taylor:

We've had, uh, travel hold on all of those projects since COVID.

Casey Taylor:

I've been here for four years, but I'm still a relatively new keeper.

Casey Taylor:

I'm still building my knowledge base.

Casey Taylor:

It's pretty phenomenal.

Casey Taylor:

There's always opportunities, always new things to learn, new ways to approach things, new ways to make our animals lives better.

Casey Taylor:

And that's what we're always striving for,

Catherine:

Is there anything else that you'd like to add about the African painted dog or the, as I just love this, the Lycaon pictus Painted Wolf..

Casey Taylor:

Yeah.

Casey Taylor:

That's it.

Casey Taylor:

They're beautiful.

Casey Taylor:

I would just like to say, if you do want to do any sort of conservation work or preservation work, donating specifically to the painted dog conservation fund, that's where your money's going to go, the furthest.

Casey Taylor:

And if you're not in a position to donate, just learn about them.

Casey Taylor:

If you're physically not somewhere where you can go see a pair or a pack look up videos of them because they are truly phenomenal.

Casey Taylor:

And also if you do happen to, you know, make it over to Africa in your life and you, you are doing some of those ecotourism, be careful where you go.

Casey Taylor:

Dr.

Casey Taylor:

Rasmussen's done some studies that show some eco tourists that go too close to painted dog dens are actually causing a detrimental effect to puppy growth because they're staying in the dens more.

Casey Taylor:

So you can always find the best routes through the painted dog conservation , group.

Casey Taylor:

Uh, so yeah, just be, be careful even when you think you're helping

Casey Taylor:

sometimes if you're not doing the full research you might not be.

Casey Taylor:

Getting physical eyes on them is, is the best way to, to really start loving them.

Catherine:

There are many wild animals that are critically endangered.

Catherine:

There are many ways to learn about animals of the world.

Catherine:

And one way is to go to your local bio park.

Catherine:

Conservation and preservation organizations also provide videos and information.

Catherine:

There are books at your local library and of course, bookstores.

Catherine:

Casey closes this episode, number 1 53 with her positive and inspiring words.

Casey Taylor:

Love what you do and save what you love.

Casey Taylor:

I work with animals.

Casey Taylor:

Not everybody can, uh, but whatever you decide to do with your free time or even your work time make it worth it and love it.

Casey Taylor:

And if you love it, others will too.

Catherine:

Casey, thank you so much for being, here on the show.

Catherine:

Thank you.

Catherine:

Thanks to Chass and Alyson Zahm for connecting me with Casey.

Catherine:

Learn more about the Albuquerque BioPark by Googling ABQ bio park.

Catherine:

Learn more about the painted dog, the research and the conservation by going to painteddogresearch.org.

Catherine:

Don't forget to follow, subscribe, or download this podcast.

Catherine:

Your positive imprint.

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