Jon Wassner

Here is Jon in his own words:

“When I was three years old, I visited the Indianapolis Zoo with my mom and brother. At the giraffe pen, a giraffe leaned over the fence and licked me on the side of the face. Right then I knew my life’s path would lead me back to a zoo.

“As I grew up, my interest in zoos and animals grew with me. Family vacations were accompanied by at least one, and usually multiple, zoo visits. These continued until I reached college and began what I thought would be my long-awaited career in zoos. While earning my Associate’s Degree at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, I spent two summers working as a zookeeper intern, the first at the Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend, Indiana and the second at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo. I worked at the Indianapolis Zoo as a full-time zookeeper for Australian and African animals for a season following graduation. By then, I realized my interests lay more in zoo-exhibit design than in zookeeping.

“As America’s Best Zoos goes to press, I am a freelance zoo-exhibit designer. My hobbies are visiting zoos — I’ve tallied 69 zoos and aquariums in the United States so far— playing soccer, and traveling with my wife, Kelly. We live in Indianapolis with our cat, Maddie.”

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