Matt James

Matt James is a leader in exotic animal care with more than thirteen years of experience in husbandry and welfare. Previously working as the Senior Director of Animal Care for large zoological institutions such as the Dallas Zoo and Zoo Miami, he had the opportunity to manage over 7,000 animals representing more than 500 species, while also maintaining their accreditation standards with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

Firmly believing in a hands-on approach, Matt has managed, cared for, bred, and translocated a large variety of animals including elephants, rhinos, and other mega-vertebrates. Understanding the necessity for collaboration and perpetuating his passion for conservation, he holds several positions within the AZA organization such as serving on the Taxon Advisory Groups for Elephants, Rhinos, and Antelope & Giraffid, and manages the Species Survival Plans for Red River Hogs, Yellow-backed Duikers, and Giraffe.

In addition to acting as an accreditation inspector, he was recently appointed as the Husbandry & Welfare Working Group Chair on the AZA’s Elephant Sustainability Task Force.

Matt has a Bachelors of Science from Doane University where he majored in Biology and Chemistry as well as an MBA from the Muma College of Business at the University of South Florida.