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jackie_cheetahJackie Navarro – Executive Director/Compound Manager

Jackie Navarro is a veteran of the wild animal world. Her personal safari began in 1989 taking her from California Polytechnic University into various roles such as: zookeeper, zoo educator, trainer, behavioral consultant, presenter, and show producer and consultant.

Jackie has been affiliated with several zoos including: Columbus, Charles Paddock, Santa Ana, and the San Diego Safari Park, where she performed in front of thousands. These experiences combined with a need for grassroots wildlife education programs in southern California eventually led her to the formation of her own wildlife education organization, Wild Wonders, Inc. in 1991.

Currently, Jackie travels throughout the United States with her animal ambassadors charming children and adults alike through personal appearances, performances, media opportunities, and other related interactions. Jackie’s drive and determination, along with her contacts in the animal world are only a few of her great assets that have helped Wild Wonders to grow into one of the foremost wildlife education organizations in the west. She has a genuine love of animals, children and a desire to educate people about the natural world.

*Jackie is an Institutional Member of American Association of Zookeepers,  Member of American Zoological Association, Professional Member of Zoological Association of America, President of the Association of Professional Wildlife Educators, and Member of California Association for the Gifted, California Kindergarten Association, and International Zoo Educators.

“Jackie Navarro of wild wonders has a unique ability to communicate and inspire those who take part in her programs the work jackie does with young people will result in future generations caring about wildlife and interested in conservation.” – Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus Columbus Zoo and Aquarium


Kimberly Wright – Managing Director/Programs Manager

Kimberly Wright is a graduate of San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and marine sciences. She has a varied background of animal handling experience, working both in zoological parks and marine aquariums. Her experience includes many aspects of animal training, veterinary procedures, behavioral enrichment, husbandry, and educational presentations. As part of her dedication to wildlife conservation and education, she actively participates in biological research, both domestic and international.

“Working for Wild Wonders gives me a unique opportunity to share my knowledge and passion for the natural world by exposing and educating others about the extraordinary animals we share this world with.”

Carly PadillaCarly Padilla – Senior Keeper/Educator

Carly Padilla graduated from the University of Hawaii, Manoa in ‘06 with a bachelor degree in zoology. She always knew that she wanted to work with animals. After her graduation, she pursued her dream of becoming a dolphin trainer and got a job working at Sea Life Park in Hawaii. She trained and worked with dolphins, sea lions, penguins and Hawaii’s native sea birds. She performed in their show and facilitated dolphin interactions daily. After 4 years, she decided to come home to be closer to her family. She wanted to continue working in the animal world and was ready to use her knowledge of training and work with other species of animals. She applied for a job at Wild Wonders and was offered a position in March of ’11. After three years working for Wild Wonders, Carly has a great relationship with almost all the animals here. She loves performing presentations for schools, birthdays and libraries, being able to educate the public about conservation is one of her passions. She also is one of our great tour guides. She loves teaching everyone about the animals here at WW and their little idiosyncrasies. When she is not working, she is relaxing at the beach or spending time with her two dogs, Jackson, a terrier-mix saved from a shelter and Cellie, a Pomeranian.

Kristina NewtonKristina Newton

Kristina started with Wild Wonders in 2011 as a high school intern. After graduating high school, she was offered a full-time position in 2012. Kristina has always had a love for animals and her favorite animals at Wild Wonders are the Wallabies and Kinkajous. Kristina is currently furthering her education at a local community college and hopes to transfer to a state school soon.

Stacey Voorn - Marketing and Development Director (Email Stacey)

We’d also like to recognize our dedicated volunteers!