Animal Ambassadors

Meet Our Animal Ambassadors!

The Education Department is made up of a diverse team of individuals, including more than 60 animal ambassadors! The Education Department strives to provide hands-on humane education with the help of these animal ambassadors. Many on the ambassador team are animals that have been domesticated or are commonly kept as exotic pets, with the mission that by teaching about the proper pet care of these animals, we can then inspire compassion for them, their wild counterparts, and ultimately all living things.

Animals join our team in a few different ways: they are either rescued from other facilities, leased to us for various times from their owner, or occasionally someone will surrender us an animal that fits the program well. We do not breed our animals, and we strive to bring in rescues as much as possible in the hopes that this will inspire our program participants to adopt and not shop for their pets. Our animal ambassadors must pass a temperament test before becoming part of the program and even participate in a rotating usage schedule to ensure they are not overworked. We have a dedicated and hardworking animal care team that ensure all the animals’ needs are met, from a proper diet, to exercise, and enrichment.

Get to know our animal ambassador team below!

Large Mammals

Millie - Nubian/Dwarf Cross Goat

She arrived at Helen Woodward Animal Center when she was only 1 month old! She had to be bottle-fed 4 times a day and had round-the-clock care. Since then she’s grown and is a happy, healthy goat.

Leonard - Nigerian Dwarf Goat

He is a friendly goat and loves to be groomed, especially when it’s hot, to get rid of some of his extra fur.

Mildred - Nigerian Dwarf Goat

She is a sweet goat and will often push her head and rub it against the staff’s legs as a sign of acceptance.

Bella - Miniature Horse

As her name suggests, she is a beautiful horse with mesmerizing blue eyes!

Fable - Miniature Horse

He is a very patient horse and lets guests take their time as they learn how to pet and groom him properly.

Casper - Dorpor-Katahdin Sheep

His favorite food is a whole banana, peel included!

Tux - Dorper-Katahdin Sheep

He lives with his two other brother sheep, Casper and Oreo, and he is the leader of the herd!

Small Mammals


Mister - Chinchilla

His favorite snacks are raisins and almonds.

Popps - Chinchilla

He is very curious about people and loves to run on his wheel!

Guinea Pigs

Cinnamon - American Guinea Pig

She is a beautiful guinea pig with special coloring referred to as “red roan”.

Coco - American Guinea Pig

She is the biggest and the shyest guinea pig. She loves to play in all of the different huts and houses we provide.

Dizzy - American Guinea Pig

She is spunky and very brave compared to the other guinea pigs.

Gus - Guinea Pig

He is a very social guinea pig and gets along with all the other guinea pigs.

Reyna - Crested Guinea Pig

She loves any sort of vegetable as a treat!

Pomegranate - Guinea Pig

She is very energetic and really enjoys her morning breakfast salad.


Copper - Rabbit

He is an energetic rabbit and loves to meet people.

Mango - Holland Lop Rabbit

He has lots of energy and loves to run around his enclosure, especially after it’s been freshly cleaned.

Maple - Mini Rex Rabbit

She is a confident rabbit and likes to make little grunting noises when staff cleans her enclosure, just to remind them whom the enclosure belongs to!

Pancake - Flemish Giant Rabbit

Her favorite treats are apples.


Zeus - Senegal Parrot

He loves getting attention and will make loud whistles and clicking noises when he feels like all eyes aren’t on him! He can say “pretty bird” sometimes! He is especially fond of men, beards, and glasses.

Cheeka - Green Cheek Conure

She is a sweet and happy parrot. She enjoys all kinds of fruit and loves to spin in circles and dance. She is attracted to nail polish and jewelry.

Tasha - African Grey Parrot

Some of his favorite toys are his spoons and he loves to rip up paper! He prefers to mimic sounds over words and is often too shy to speak when there are eyes on him. We originally thought he was a girl until some tests were later run due to illness and we realized he was a boy!

Rio - Cockatiel

He loves his own reflection and likes to nap often.

Penelope - Ring-Neck Dove

She loves to spend time with our other dove. Our animal care team can often hear them cooing back and forth to each other.

Annie - Ring-Neck Dove

One of his favorite ways to relax is by spending time in his outdoor enclosure, spreading his wings, and sunbathing. We originally thought he was a girl which is why we named him Annie!

Magnolia - Welsummer Chicken

Her favorite treat is grapes.

Reptiles & Amphibians

Ember - Bearded Dragon

She is a very active lizard who loves to burrow in her dig box and soak in her pool. She has a huge appetite and will happily eat anything from bugs to fruit to veggies.

Sid - Bearded Dragon

He loves to sunbathe and people watch from his enclosure.

Skippy John - Blue Tongue Skink

He is a bit shy when meeting people, but loves to sit at the front of his enclosure and observe the happenings of each day with curiosity.

Dicci - Leopard Gecko

She is an active gecko and loves to hunt for her food. When she gets excited, particularly with food, she will wiggle the end of her tail.

Echo - Leopard Gecko

She is a great hunter and loves to eat a bunch when she gets the opportunity. When she is outside of her enclosure, she constantly wants to explore her new environment.

Blue - Leopard Gecko

She is often found in her humidity hide soaking up the heat and moisture. Blue’s favorite snack is Dubia roaches.

Sebastian - Blue Tongue Skink

He is very active and is often looking out his enclosure to watch daily activities. He loves to hunt for his food and shake it back and forth for emphasis.

Fizzy - Ball Python

His full name is Fizzy McSquiggles and is a very active snake and used to lots of handling as he’s been a childhood pet. He’s very active by ball python standards and loves to explore his enclosure as well as the environment when he’s being handled.

Ivy - Ball Python

She is a very sweet and mellow snake and she loves being handled. She can usually be found curled up inside her favorite cave, but once she’s out, she’s ready to go.

Beau - Mexican Rosy Boa

He is a very easygoing and gentle snake and is found most of the time sleeping in his log. He is a great example of how beautiful these creatures are.

Noodle - Mexican Rosy Boa

She is a very mellow snake and likes to explore when being handled.

Zoey - California Desert Tortoise

He has been here since 1998 and is our oldest Animal Ambassador; he has a special permit to be on our team. We originally thought he was a girl until we ran tests due to an illness and found out otherwise! He loves cucumber but dislikes carrots.

Big Girl - Gulf Coast Box Turtle

She loves to nap inside her warm den or dig around in her cave.

Happy - Three-Toed Box Turtle

She’s curious and hesitant about new things, but can always be convinced with food.

Sir Charles - White's Tree Frog

He is a very polite frog who is too shy to show his tongue when eating so his food is left in overnight where he can catch his food with his sticky tongue in private.

Dumpling - White's Tree Frog

He is a sit-and-wait predator and can almost always be found hiding on the back wall of his enclosure. His vision has reduced as he’s aged so he tends to jump at anything that moves in case it’s a tasty snack.


Flik, Fluffy, and King Louie - Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches

These unique cockroaches make a hissing sound by pushing air through holes on their abdomen, called spiracles! As they get used to being handled they know we’re not a threat and don’t hiss as much.

Reginald & Bartholomew - Red Earthworms

Earthworms are critical in helping maintain ecosystems because their activity in the soil increases nutrients, drainage, and stabilizes the soil.

Retired Animal Ambassadors

  • These animals have been a wonderful part of the team, but are now retired and no longer participate in programs. If interested in adopting one of them, please contact our Animal Care Assistant Manager, Kelly Ryback, at KellyR@animalcenter.org

Oreo - Dorpor-Katahdin Sheep

He lives with his two other brother sheep, Casper and Tux, and he is the most sociable! He is not available for adoption because of how closely bonded he is with his brothers.

Earl Grey - Dutch Mix Rabbit

He is a very outgoing rabbit and loves people. He also really enjoys climbing so animal care staff will provide him with various heights of cardboard boxes for enrichment.

Kronk - Alpaca

He loves to be sprayed by the hose on hot days and has the best floof. He must be adopted with Kuzco.

Maybelline - Rabbit

She is a silly rabbit and will often throw her food dishes around once she’s finished her breakfast.

Kuzco - Alpaca

He enjoys relaxing in the sun and is commonly found lying down in his enclosure or rolling in the dirt. He must be adopted with Kronk.

Fudge - Birmingham Roller Pigeon

He is very vocal and can commonly be heard making an array of pigeon noises. Would love to find a home with other pigeons.

Professor - Pigeon

Her full name given to her before arriving at Helen Woodward Animal Center is “Professor Chaos”. Would love to find a home with other pigeons.

Friar Cluck - Ameraucana Chicken

Most chickens live about 5-10 years, but she was born in June 2012 and is still going strong! Would love to find a home with other chickens.

Tutu - Goffin's Cockatoo

She is normally found standing high on the top of her perch whistling and saying her name. She loves to participate in training sessions each day!

Your program fee helps support all of our adoptable animals, as well as the many human and animal services Helen Woodward Animal Center provides.

For more information:
Please contact us at education@animalcenter.org or 858-756-4117 ext. 318

Follow us online to get more humane education virtually including animal facts, cute animal photos and videos, and notifications about upcoming programs!

Due to Hurricane Hilary, all  departments will be closing at 3pm today.  Stay safe!