The Zoological Programs Division of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo welcomed its new Curator of Carnivores and Large Mammals, Andi Kornak, to Cleveland this week.
A Michigan native, she started her professional zoo career at Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, Mich., working her way up from zookeeper to curator of collections in just eight years. She has a bachelor's of science degree from Michigan State University and is currently working toward her master's in interdisciplinary studies (zoo and aquarium leadership) through George Mason University in Virginia.
Her long career has given her experience with many different kinds of animals including giraffes, snow leopards, Red River hogs, cotton-top tamarins, red capped and black mangabeys, Colobus monkeys, African wild dogs, storks, cranes and various types of gazelles. She also helped supervise the construction and development of Binder Park's Wild Africa exhibit, including researching the animal care protocols and procedures for the new animals that accompanied it.
However there are a few large mammals she hasn't had the chance to work with, and they are some of the main reasons she jumped at the chance to come to Cleveland.
"I'm definitely looking forward to working with all the different bear species you have here," Kornak said. "And of course the elephants and rhinos, too."
The new curator is coming on board just in time to help Cleveland Metroparks Zoo open its new exhibit, African Elephant Crossing, on May 5.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Regular discounted winter admission through March 31, is $7 per person, $5 for kids ages 2-11 and free for children younger than 2 and Zoo members. Parking is free. To learn more, visit clemetzoo.com, or call (216) 661-6500.