Questions? Email us at or contact an officer or facility liaison.

Meeting Minutes- December 2011

Bronx Zoo AAZK Chapter Meeting Minutes
20 December 2011

1)     Voting for amendments and officers will be reopened.  Not enough votes were placed to move forward.  Please make sure to register and vote online for:
a.       The amendment to expand our AAZK chapter to other zoos
b.      Officers

2)     The silent auction was a huge success!  Many thanks to all who participated.
a.       We made over 1,000 dollars
b.      Generated a lot of buzz
c.       We may hold a second one each year, but no more than that

3)     Cindy had a great meeting with Jim Breheny
a.       We have his permission to hold BZAC meeting events behind the scenes at all parks
b.      We have his permission to have animal presentations
                                                               i.      We must still receive permission from heads of the city zoos/ individual Bronx zoo installations to proceed
c.       The AEP presentation night was a great success- Jim would like to see BZAC involvement in similar, less formal events with more diverse subject matter
                                                               i.      It was expressed that having less oversight for every detail of presentations was important for keeper participation

4)     Travel grants upcoming!
a.       BZAC members will have final decision on grant recipients
b.      We discussed payment methods for grant money

5)     Calendars are in!
a.       20$ for non-members, 15$ for members, 10$ for those that submitted photos
b.      Could they be sold in the Bronx Zoo store?
c.       Could we sell posters at the Bronx Zoo store

6)     Keeper talks
a.       Wild Asia’s new squeeze
b.      Tundra the polar bear
c.       Kiani update!

Meeting Minutes- November 2011

Bronx Zoo AAZK Chapter Meeting Minutes
20 November 2011

1)      Membership voted to approve online voting
a.       Online voting will be available for votes requiring information 30 days in advance including amendments and elections
2)      Cindy proposed an amendment to include the city zoos in our chapter
a.       We are still working on ideas to make this possible and fun
b.      i.e have events at different parks along with a meeting?
c.       Perhaps meet at a central location and have dinner with the meeting?
d.      Voting for/against this amendment will be available online- membership will receive an e-mail telling them to do this, the cut-off will be 20 December 2011
3)      We are working out the detail to hold a fundraising holiday silent auction at the staff cafeteria
a.       Submissions are requested from all and any, please contact an officer if you or someone you know would like to donate or send an e-mail to
4)      Cindy talked about surveys
5)      Calendars are coming!
a.       Pictures have been narrowed down from 18 to 12
b.      They should be available by next meeting
6)      Elections for officers are upcoming and will conclude on 20 December 2011
7)      Training talks!
a.       Painting with capuchins
b.      Training with Chiani the sea lion before and after his surgery
c.       Komodo dragon training
d.      Ella the rhino and new white rhinos in Zoo Center

Meeting minutes- October 2011

Bronx Zoo AAZK Chapter Meeting Minutes
20 October 2010

1)     Bowling for Rhinos was a big success
a.       We earned over 3,000 dollars
b.      Paypal was very successful and we should use it next year
2)     We discussed the Girl Scout outreach program
a.       Plans are to move forward in January based on previous model sessions
b.      BZAC members will be able to sign up to work with troops on days they are available and will visit troops twice
c.       Please send photos of enrichment to Joanne to use in posters
3)     Cindy spoke about the National AAZK conference
a.       San Francisco has 11 facilities incorporated into its chapter and could help serve as a model for incorporating the city zoo into BZAC
                                                               i.      Moving meeting location around and having a special event at the meetings
4)     We talked about incorporating other zoos
a.       Video conferencing?  We’re looking into it but AAZK National did not recommend it.
b.      Meetings may have to be later for travel time
c.       We may want to have liaisons to other zoo; VP of BZAC may serve as liaison to other zoos
5)     We discussed online voting- online voting will be held for votes that require information to be received 30 days in advance (i.e. elections, amendments)
a.       Unfortunately we did not have enough members to vote for approval of online voting and will vote at next meeting
6)     We discussed changing the meeting venue
7)    Elections for AAZK officers will occur on 20 December
a.       If you are interested in running, please inform a current officer; candidates will be given a chance to address membership on 20 November
8)     An election bonanza will be held in November or December- members should think of ideas for large group projects
9)     Keepers chatted about some of their training projects
a.       Mike talked about training Tuco the gorilla to target train HIM
b.      Joanna talked about training a silver langur to target himself
c.       Amy talked about sea lion training; she has finally gotten a successful flip performed!

Meeting Minutes- August 2011

Minutes from Bronx Zoo AAZK Chapter
20 August 2011

1)     We began meeting with an update on Bowling for Rhinos planned for 3 October 2011 beginning at 6 p.m. at 300 New York.
A.      Pricing
                                                               i.      Members will be charged $25 or $26 through paypal
                                                             ii.      Non-members will be charged $30 in advance or $31 through paypal; $35 at the door
                                                           iii.      Entrance fee includes:
1.       Bowling from 7-9:30
2.       A $5 arcade game card
3.       Two beers or sodas
4.       Pizza
5.       Shoe
B.      Parking has generally been available on the street, the subway is close
C.       Volunteers were signed up to man ticket sales tables in the staff dining room
D.      Bowling for Rhinos committee is looking for pictures of zookeepers for a slideshow
E.      We discussed donations for merchandise/pursuing company sponsors
F.       Sheets will be handed out for individuals to raise further donations
G.      Bowling for rhinos requested up to $150 from chapter budget; these funds will include the purchase of a banner to use at ticket sale table and will be BZAAK generic for reuse
                                                               i.      Members approved the funds
2)     We discussed the Officer position of Secretary
3)     We discussed the two proposed amendments the to Bronx Zoo AAZK chapter constitution; amendments will be voted on at the next meeting
A.      When there is a tie in a decision made by ballet, the tie-breaking decisions will be made by the current officers
B.      If an officer resigns from their position during their term, they are not to run in the mid-term election for the position they resigned from.  They will be able to run for other positions mid-term or for officer positions during the yearly elections
4)     National Keeper Week received lots of positive feedback
A.      Event night went well
                                                               i.      The chapter raised about $600
B.      Ideas for next time:
                                                               i.      The poo was unmanageable in a bag; a plate, perhaps?
                                                             ii.      Hold the silent auction throughout the week in the staff dining room
                                                           iii.      Have categories to nominate keepers for recognition
                                                           iv.      Hold the event earlier in the summer and in a better location
C.       We hope to organize a holiday event/party
5)     We discussed Turtle Survival Alliance 9th Annual symposium
A.      TSA received several thousands of dollars from AAZK this year!
B.      This led to the suggestion of fundraising for one year for an organization
                                                               i.      We could place this information on our Facebook page to promote awareness
                                                             ii.      Members would present possible organizations to the group and the group would vote for the winner
1.       Further discussion needed for how to narrow the field, how presentations would work, etc…
6)     We discussed the calendar
A.      The calendar is ready to print and we hope to have it ready to sell with Bowling for Rhino tickets
B.      It will be shortened to a 12 month calendar
C.       We need to confirm sponsorship for the calendar
D.      We discussed how many we will need to order; discussed a preorder
E.      There are various options for the printer
7)     General
A.      We discussed voting online or by proxy for members who can’t attend meetings where a vote by ballot will occur
B.      We discussed skyping with city zoos to allow voting by AAZK members there
C.       We discussed integrating the Ornithology department
D.      We discussed some preliminaries for the next enrichment bonanza
                                                               i.      We discussed organizing stations for specific projects

Meeting Minutes- July 2011

BZAAZK Meeting Minutes July 20, 2011

In attendance: Danielle Steele, Amy Golden, Megan Baumer, Paul Kmiotek, Vanessa Jones, Mike Wrubel, Linda Edge,  Dawn Davis, Cindy Maur, Sara Koplish, Alexis Amann, Michelle Medina, Jason Castro, Florence Klecha, Roxy Watts

Committee updates- NKW and BFR
Detailed plan of NKW night event discussed
Treasurer candidate introductions
Treasurer candidate vote and results- Megan Baumer and Amy Golden were tied and it was agreed by all members at the meeting that they should be co-treasurers

Meeting Minutes- June 2011

 BZAAZK Meeting- June 20,  2011

In attendance: Lauren Augustine, Sara Koplish, Mary Gremler, Linda Edge, Sabrina Squillari, Avril Armstrong, Megan Baumer, Alyssa Borek, Vanessa Jones, Cindy Maur, Dawn Davis

-Lauren Augustine, treasurer, announced her resignation from the chapter since she is no longer going to be working at the zoo
-Linda Edge, vice president is the interim treasurer
-Election for the treasurer position discussed, including responsibilities
-The vote will take place at the next monthly meeting- all interested parties are to contact Linda via     email
-Megan Baumer gave our first informal training talk on komodo dragon crate training
-Committee updates- NKW, BFR
-Discussed chapter details- membership, $ in bank account
-Talked about us being in the AAZK Forum magazine
-Discussed membership benefits
-Please send ideas for the chapter to us via email

Meeting Minutes- May 2011

 BZAAZK Meeting Minutes- May 20, 2011

In Attendance: Lauren Augustine, Jason Castro, Cindy Maur, Rebecca Yee, Dana Canton, Tony Buffill, Jessica Chin, Michelle Medina, Giselle Guadalupa, Danielle Steel, Mike Wrubel, Amy Golden, Sara Koplish, Daphne Revie, Mary Gremler, Stephen

NKW Committee Updates were discussed
Enrichment bonanza items made: small monkey toys, monkey fist rope toys, ladders, pvc pipe toys, pvc pipe and firehose swing, firehose carwash… please add to the list if an item you made is not listed
Pasta Challenge Winner- Mike Wrubel

Meeting Minutes- April 2011

BZAAZK Meeting Minutes -- April 20th, 2011

In Attendance: Cindy Maur, Dawn Davis, Mary Gremler, Mike Wrubel, Vanessa Jones, Jason Castro, Flo Klecha, Sara Koplish, Linda Edge,  & Lauren Augustine.

Logo Selection:
We voted on the BZAAZK logo by secret ballot. The logo with the most votes was designed by Dawn Davis.  The logo and a photo of the artist are being sent to the Animal Keepers Forum for publication.

BAR-NANZA: A Night of “FUN” Raising at BAR EAST, yielded $1200 which was divided 70/30 between Turtle Survival Alliance and BZAC.  Thank you to all who came and made this so successful. Contributions are still coming in and decisions on how to split those funds are yet TBD.

Bowling for Rhinos (BFR) – Alexis Amman, Lauren Augustine, Amy Golden, & Sarah Koplish
Annual National Keeper Week (NKW) –  Lauren Augustine, Dawn Davis, Vanessa Jones, Cindy Maur, & Sabrina Squillari.

For more information, please check out these websites: and ,

Dawn shared the events of the first Girl Scout Enrichment Night. Dawn and Joan McGillicuddy met with her daughter’s troop and had a very productive evening.  See the photos on .  Committee meetings are being held to finalize this project. Members who are interested in giving back through this program are asked to contact officers via email. 

1.      How can we make things better for BZAC members?  Some of the suggestions were:
               Big discounts at all our events,
                           Committees and outreach programs - members only
               Members only “appreciation” events.
2.      From Barnanza Social Night Event:
                        Add guest list
                        Add a band
                        Add a food sponsor
      Eliminate any competition (i.e. pool league night)

3.      Flo Klecha shared a great idea for NKW.  Recognizing keeper’s accomplishments with some sort of showcase for their project results or conservation efforts, in a special print, Awards show or at exhibit site. Lots of other ideas were exchanged, prizes offered (drawings of animals), keeper olympics, game night, patron outreach with displays at exhibits,   candy donations, or ice cream sponsor.

4.      Can we get permanent and regular access to a storage space in the enrichment trailer?

May 20th – Enrichment Bonanza 2 and Pasta Challenge
An Enrichment Creation Party and Make your favorite Pasta dish, hot, cold, or mac and cheese, whatever-edible.  Any special needs, wants, trades; please contact BZAC officers. Current list: A33 barrels, gardening stuff, seeds, rope, fire hose, soldering gun, additional tools, and a Toddler toy trade off.

Meeting Minutes- March 2011

BZAAZK Meeting Minutes --  MARCH 20th, 2011

In Attendance: Cindy Maur, Dawn Davis, Heather Tassler, Mary Gremler, Jason Castro, Dana Caton, Tony Buffill, Alexis Amann, and Lauren Augustine.


ILLUSTRATORS, GRAPHIC ARTISTS, PAINTERS, DESIGNERS, SCRAPBOOKERS, PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR LOGO DESIGNS FOR BZAAZK BY March 30th 2011. We received 2 submissions from Dana Caton and Dawn Bard Davis.  Your logo design MUST be at least 5.5 x 5.5 inches.  Dawn has volunteered to scan the images so you can now submit, just the original artwork if needed. We still prefer you submit it in .jpg format, with at least 300 dpi resolution.  Again, the logo must represent a variety of animals (mammals, reptiles, and birds).  Black and white only, no color please.  AAZK membership is not required to submit a design.  All submissions will be reviewed and voted on at our April 20th monthly meeting.

To become a member of our local chapter you must first pay your National AAZK membership dues of $45.00 on the website  Then please pay $25.00 for our local chapter dues by April 20th, 2011.  Please remit payments to Lauren Augustine, with a copy of your National membership card, or receipt of your payment to National.  Thank you.


We began the meeting with an “awesome ideas” brainstorming session. We came up with over 20 great fundraising events or ideas.  Here are some of the top ideas:  Wii Video game Night, Chili Cook-off, Dodge ball Night, Giant Yard Sale, AAZK Calendar, AAZK gift shop section,  and Fight Club night.  To learn more; be at our next meeting.

We would like to form two (2) committees for upcoming events: Bowling for Rhinos (BFR) and the Annual National Keeper Week (NKW).  BFR is a tried and true fundraiser, which most AAZK chapters adopt.  Since, many other chapters have this event we can certainly use their models to create a successful event for BZAAZK.  NZW is at the end of July, and has a free format for creating all kinds of possibilities.  If you would like to help on the committees, please contact any officer ASAP. For more information, please check out these websites: and ,

Cindy, Lauren, and Dawn made formal presentation on four (4) worthy conservation organizations.  Lauren presented Turtle Survival Alliance, Dawn shared the Plight of the California Condor and the Peregrine Fund’s involvement, and Cindy talked about the Endangered Species International organization.  In addition, we all suggested we also include a fund raising effort made by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, to financially aid the Japanese Zoo and Aquariums affected by the tsunami.  The Turtle Survival Alliance was selected to receive our financial support from fundraising efforts at our next event.

BAR-NANZA: A Social Night for Keepers is April 11th, 2011.  All WCS keeper and animal staff is invited to join us at BAR EAST, located at 90TH & 1ST AVE., for THE social event of the year.  A $10 donation at the door gets you 2 free drinks, and great drinks specials ‘til 8 pm. In addition to the foosball table and dartboard, BZAAZK will have other specials activities.

Lauren informed us of AAZK’s Animal Keeper’s Forum (AZF) call for submissions for ENRICHMENT TAILS section of the magazine. If you submit your enrichment study or project paper before May 2011, it will be entered in the drawing for free registration for this year’s AAZK Conference in San Diego, August 24th-28th 2011.  Please give all submission to Josh Charlton for review before sending to AFK.  For more information on the conference:

April 20th - Dues Deadline, Logo selection, BFR and NZW Committee formation, Summer Event Plans/Calendar, and Membership Celebration.

Meeting Minutes- February 2011

BZAAZK Meeting Minutes --  February 20th, 2011

In Attendance: Dawn Davis, Heather Tassler, Dana Caton, Avril Armstrong, Alyssa Borek, Megan Baumer, Rebecca Yee, John Treanor, Danielle Steele, Mike Wrubel, Alexis Amann, Linda Edge, Noel Pernello, Cindy Maur, Daphne Revie, Brandon Casey, Mike Houlihan, Kathy D’Andrea, Sabrina Squillari, Lacie Martin, Melanie Lumba, Christina Nieves, Jason Castro, & Nate Thompson.

Our first event was such a great success; we want to thank all of you for your participation.  If you have photographs of your enrichment, in use or otherwise please get a copy to Michelle Medina so we can display it on our website (  Here is just a sample of the creative items keepers made for Birds (B) Mammals (M) and Reptiles (R):

Ladders – M
Swings - M
Bamboo chimes – MB
Twig balls - M

Snake tactile boxes - R         
Delayed feeders – R
Bamboo feeders - MBR
Suet feeders – M

Paper mache’ zebra – M
Easter egg feeders – M
Fire hose braid - M
Target sticks -M

Please let Dawn know of any other projects you would like to complete for next time. That’s right we have plans for at least one more scheduled Enrichment Bonanza before the end of the year.

Thanks: Lauren Augustine, Cindy Maur, Dawn Davis, and Linda Edge did a great job organizing this event, but there were so many who made contributions.  So, a big Thank You to Management for providing their space, support, tools and supplies. Also a special thanks to the Reptile Department for providing their spring cleaning treasures, Horticulture for the bamboo, and Congo ‘s Enrichment Center for providing their tools and storage area.  A very, very special thanks to Marty, for his assistance with the setup and closedown.  Additionally, a significant portion of the supplies and tools were from Melissa’s enrichment budget, thank you, Melissa.  And we couldn’t forget a “SHOUT-OUT” of gratitude for all the keepers who made food; it was delicious, thank you.  Show your appreciation by sharing a family recipe at our next meeting.  Let us know what you’ll bring.

BZAAZK LOGO CONTEST!  Submit your logo design in digital format to any BZAAZK officer. The deadline is March 30th 2011.  Your images must be at least 5.5 x 5.5 inches, 300 dpi, and in .jpg format.  The logo must represent a variety of animals (mammals, reptiles, and birds).  Black and white only, no color please.  AAZK membership is not required to submit a design.

Bronx Zoo AAZK Chapter is officially in business.  To become a member of our local chapter you must first pay your National AAZK membership dues of $45.00 on the website  Then please pay $25.00 for our local chapter dues by April 20th, 2011.  Please remit payments to Lauren Augustine, with a copy of your National membership card, or receipt of your payment to National.  Thank you.

Formal Presentations will be made at our next Meeting on March 20th, in the Mammal Department Meeting Room.  Cindy, Linda, Lauren and Dawn will be making presentations for four (4) different National animal organizations.  BZAAZK is dedicating the majority of our first fundraising event “Bar-Nanza: a social night for keepers” to the organization/presentation who receives the most votes in the Quorum. The remaining funds raised at the “Bar-Nanza” event will go into BZAAZK’s General fund.  In the future, you too can make a formal presentation for a national organization or for your own animal project or professional advancement at our next “Formal Presentations” meeting.  This small “Bar-Nanza” event & presentations are the best way to demonstrate “how to get AAZK financial support” for your projects/professional advancements.

Committees are groups of AAZK members who discuss, plan, and organize AAZK events.  For example, Cindy, Lauren, Linda, and Dawn served as the committee for the Enrichment Bonanza.  We would like to form two (2) committees for upcoming events: Bowling for Rhinos and the Annual National Keeper Week. We will be asking for volunteers at our next meeting; so for more information, please check out these websites: and . 

Meeting Minutes- January 2011

Meeting Minutes for Future BZAC  --  January 20th, 2011

First, a special thanks goes to all who brought in or made the delicious, home made entrees and refreshments.  Show your gratitude by volunteering to make your favorite recipe for next time.

In Attendence: Cindy Maur, Michelle Medina, Avril Armstrong, Vanessa Jones, Mike Wrubel, Jason Castro, Kirsty Black, Melanie Lumba, Rebecca Yee, Linda Edge, Dawn Davis, Kristin Antonaccio, Rebecca K. Zenowich, Kim Warren, Paul Kmintek, Amy Golden, Alexis Amann  and Lauren Augustine.

Meeting Agenda:

Dawn Davis –
Welcome, Gratitude, Gametime: Zoo Speed Scatagories, & Review of AKF magazine
Linda –
AAZK, American Association of Zoo Keepers  - History, Mission & Purpose
Cindy –
Accomplishments already, Why join? & Future Benefits for keepers and the Bronx Zoo
Lauren –
Financial responsibilities, dues (national, & individual) website & distribution of funds

AAZK is a nonprofit, volunteer, national organization of professional animal keepers ( Their mission is to continue education for the animal-care professional.

AAZK provides a professional forum, monthly.  This trade magazine is called Animal Keeper Forum (AKF).  National membership is required to gain full access to AKF magazine online (, in their member’s only section of the website.

Members can also submit to share their animal project papers on husbandry, enrichment, training techniques etc…for publication in the AKF, again in the member’s only section (  The member’s only section has a lot of valuable information and resources, including upcoming national conferences, fundraisers, and workshops.

AAZK also provides grants for a number of different professional improvements and educational opportunity (

AAZK national membership dues are $45 and the future Bronx Zoo AAZK Chapter (BZAC) dues are $25, both annually. The deadline for payment of dues for both National and the future BZAC is the 3rd meeting after our Chapter is made official.

Our future BZAC dues ($25 ea. collectively) and all additional funds we raise are put into our General Fund, managed by the future BZAC Treasurer, Lauren Augustine.

This General Fund pays BZAC’s dues to the national AAZK, and will manage, through a Quorum vote of the membership, any other expenditures. Only the Treasurer is allowed to spend under $100, without calling for a quorum vote. A quorum constitutes 20% of the future BZAC membership.  A majority of the quorum is necessary to pass any motion, election or spending request.

Future BZAC expenditures, including any and all grants, deposits, enrichment, conferences tickets, conservation contributions etc. will be “formally” presented to the membership, by a member. “Formally” is hereby defined as verbally or visually presented to the membership and officers at an official meeting of the future BZAC, accompanied by an accurate estimate of expenses and a promise to remit all receipts for said expenses. All presentations will be heard before voting. The funds will be allocated to the presentation with the majority of votes, in the quorum.  Just, for clarity’s sake, this means that if we have 22 members, a quorum could be as little as, 5 people and a majority is 3 people.  This is why your attendance is so important. The best way to ensure your voice is heard is to attend meetings and vote on motions.

The future BZAC has four (4) officer positions: President, Cindy Maur, Vice President, Linda Edge, Treasurer, Lauren Augustine and Secretary, Dawn Bard Davis.  Each office’s term is 1 year in length (January-December). The elections for office are held, annually, in December.  An member can hold office for three (3) years consecutively, and must take one (1) year off before holding any other office.

Avril Armstrong asked a great question: “how often can the treasurer spend upto $100.00, Without a quorum vote? We are researching an appropriate answer, and will have it ASAP.
Avril Armstrong also won the first ever “Zoo Speed Scatagories” game.

Michelle Medina is in charge of the creation and management of our Future BZAC website.


ENRICHMENT BONANZA – Please notify officers about large ideas, or group projects COMING SOON – DATE AND LOCATION TO BE ANNOUNCED

Next Meeting:
February 20th, 2011, Mammal Meeting room, 2nd Fl. Admin East

Future BZAC Logo Contest – everyone is eligible for entry.  Submissions should represent a variety of animals, including mammals, birds and reptiles.  Ultimately, final submission must be in digital format (.jpg is preferred).  The size must be 300 dpi, and logo must fit in an 7 x 7 inch space. Remember these will be shrunk down for letterhead and expanded for t-shirts and posters.  Deadline – To Be Announced