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

Kuzco - Alpaca

He enjoys relaxing in the sun and is commonly found lying down in his enclosure or rolling in the dirt.

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.

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.

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!

Oreo - Dorpor-Katahdin Sheep

He has called Helen Woodward Animal Center home since he was 4 days old!

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.

Pineapple - Guinea Pig

She is very energetic and her favorite thing is the salad she gets in the morning.

Pomegranate - Guinea Pig

She is the sister of another guinea pig named Pineapple.

Reyna - Crested Guinea Pig

She loves any sort of vegetable as a treat!


Copper - Rabbit

He is an energetic rabbit and loves to meet people.

Koa - Dutch Mix Rabbit

He is a very sweet rabbit that loves cuddles.

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!

Maybelline - Rabbit

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

Pancake - Flemish Giant Rabbit

Her favorite treats are apples.

Sniffles - Rabbit

She is a mellow and sweet bunny that enjoys pets and snuggles from people.


Friar Cluck - Ameraucana Chicken

Most chickens live about 5-10 years, but she was born in June 2012 and is still going strong!

Magnolia - Welsummer Chicken

Her favorite treat is grapes.

Rio - Cockatiel

He loves his own reflection and likes to nap often.

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!

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.

Fudge - Birmingham Roller Pigeon

He is very vocal and can commonly be heard making an array of pigeon noises.

Professor - Pigeon

Her full name given to her before arriving at Helen Woodward Animal Center is “Professor Chaos”.

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!

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.

Snow -Cockatiel

She is very friendly and quiet. She is older so her balance is weakening, but she still loves to climb around.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Blue - Leopard Gecko

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

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.

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.

Cami - Rosy Boa

She is a very active snake and enjoys exploring when she is being handled. She loves to eat!

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.

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.

Wasabi - Red-Eyed Tree Frog

He was born in November 2021 and is full of energy. Often times our animal care staff has to keep a close eye on him, or he’ll jump right out of their hands!


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.

Bing Bong and Kermit - Caribbean Hermit Crabs

Despite their name, hermit crabs often live in large groups of 100 crabs or more! Because they use their claws to hold on or when threatened, we just watch our hermit crab friends up close.

Little Foot and Big Foot - Millipedes

Millipedes are critical in helping maintain ecosystems by cleaning up the forest floor of decaying plant matter. Many species can secrete a substance when threatened so we avoid handling them, but they’re fun to watch!

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 Associate Director of Education, Haylee Blake, at

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.

Tux - Dorper-Katahdin Sheep

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

Kronk - Alpaca

He loves to be sprayed by the hose on hot days and has the best floof. He’s not available for adoption unless he’ll be joining other alpacas due to their herd-nature. For that reason we’d also need to get another alpaca in at the same time to keep Kuzco with a herd!

Fred - Button Quail

He likes to run in and out of the tunnels in his enclosure! Fred would love to find a home with other button quail.

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 or 858-756-4117 ext. 318

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