Saint Louis Zoo 314/781-0900
Billy Brennan, 314/646-4633
Christy Childs, 314/646-4639
Mike De Pope, 314/646-4703

St. Louis Chapter of American Association of Zoo Keepers
Is Awarded Chapter of the Year for 2017

Yesterday, the St. Louis Chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) was awarded the 2017 Barbara Manspeaker AAZK Chapter of the Year award at the annual AAZK National Conference in Washington, D.C. The chapter was recognized for its leadership in advancing the animal care profession, dedication to the association and for promoting conservation to the general public.

Among the members of the AAZK St. Louis Chapter are animal care professionals, employees, docents and volunteers at Endangered Wolf Center, Grant's Farm, Saint Louis Zoo and World Bird Sanctuary.

"The individuals involved in St. Louis AAZK are some of the most professional and talented people I know," says Bill Houston, assistant general curator at the Saint Louis Zoo. "Their dedication day in and day out to caring for animals in St. Louis and in the wild is obvious in everything they do. It's no surprise that they'd be picked for this honor and we congratulate them."

This award is named after Barbara Manspeaker in recognition of her outstanding commitment to professionalism during her distinguished career as the Secretary/Treasurer of AAZK for 29 years. A chapter is determined the recipient of this award by the Board of Directors of the Association annually.

About St. Louis Chapter of American Association of Zoo Keepers
St. Louis Chapter of American Association of Zoo Keepers is a group of dedicated animal care professionals and enthusiasts who are striving to make a difference in the animal care and conservation profession. The chapter hosts fundraising events and activities throughout the year to raise money and awareness for animals in need and serve as advocates for wildlife conservation and professional animal care. The chapter is also dedicated to advancing the field of animal care. For more information, visit

About the American Association of Zoo Keepers
The American Association of Zoo Keepers, Inc. began in 1967 in San Diego, California, to promote professionalism in zoo keeping through education of zoological staff members in the most modern and current techniques of captive exotic animal care. AAZK's mission is to provide a resource and forum for continuing education for animal care professionals and to support zoo and aquarium personnel in their roles as animal care givers, scientific researchers, public educators and conservationists. The organization is also committed to promoting zoos and aquariums as cultural establishments dedicated to the enrichment of human and natural resources and to fostering an exchange of research materials, enrichment options and husbandry information through publications and conferences which will lead to a greater understanding of the needs and requirements of all animals. Membership is at approximately 2,800 and includes individuals at all levels of zoo staff from directors, curators and veterinarians to keepers, animal health technicians, volunteers and students. Members are from 48 of the 50 States, 5 Canadian Provinces and 24 foreign countries, and they represent nearly 250 animal-related facilities. For more information, visit