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Melissa Solomon was captivated by animals and nature from an early age. A childhood spent in upstate New York allowed for rich outdoor experiences and frequent trips to the local zoo. A high school summer job at the zoo shaped her career interests, experiences, and goals. Currently a zookeeper at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Melissa cares for a diverse collection of African species. She has worked on multiple in-situ conservation projects supporting Operation Migration and their efforts to reintroduce an Eastern population of whooping cranes through aircraft assisted migration. Her varied zoological background spans over ten years of animal husbandry, training, conservation education, and research experience. Melissa is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Environmental Studies through Green Mountain College with a self-designed curriculum combining conservation biology and organizational leadership. Her thesis focus is on management parameters and reproductive success rates in black rhinoceros. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Biology from the State University of New York at Geneseo, including a semester studying abroad at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.