WILLOW HECHT, MSc. 



About Me

Master of Science, International Animal Welfare, Ethics & Law, the University of Edinburgh

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Thesis title: "Development of a Holistic Welfare Assessment Tool for Rescued Tigers (Panthera tigris spp.) in Accredited U.S. Sanctuaries."

Former Senior Keeper, Head of Enrichment Committee, and Education Director, Big Cat Rescue

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Skilled care for 16 species of exotic cat and five species of exotic mammal at the largest big cat sanctuary in the world. Resident staff member for two years.  Head of Enrichment Commitee, 2011-2014.  Enrichment Queen Award, 2011.

Author and presenter, "Creativity and Social Engagement Fuel Unique Big Cat Enrichment Program"

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Lee Houts Travel Grant winner, the SHAPE of Enrichment.  Presented at the International Conference on Environmental Enrichment 2017, Bogota, Colombia.  Full text:


Workshops

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Fire Hose and Rope Splicing Enrichment Workshop, 8 hours, Hose 2 Habitat (Orange, New Jersey 2018)


Wildlife Management and Veterinary Care Seminar, 24 hours, Organización de Eventos Scientíficos (OECI) and the Universidad Científica del Sur (Lima, Peru 2017)


Holistic Enrichment Workshop and Practical, 20 hours, the SHAPE of Enrichment (Bogotá, Colombia 2017)

Speaking Engagements

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Guest speaker, Mayo Healthcare, “Tigers I Have Known: Caring for Rescued Big Cats and Other Exotic Animals” (Northfield, Vermont 2018)

  

Guest speaker, Westview Meadows at Montpelier, “Tigers I Have Known: Caring for Rescued Big Cats and Other Exotic Animals” (Montpelier, Vermont 2018)

Professional Affiliations

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Captive Animal Research and Enrichment Society (CARE), Member, Board of Directors

Animal Behavior Society (ABS), Member

Universities Federation of Animal Welfare (UFAW), Student Member

Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), Student Member       

Collaborators

Big Cat Rescue


Animal Defenders International


The SHAPE of Enrichment


AAP Primadomus


Lionsrock


Shelburne Farms


Zoologico Warmy, Huaral, Peru


Zoologico UNSAAC, Cusco, Peru

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   “We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. . .  We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”  ― Henry Beston, 1928

Rescued from a fur farm, Eurasian lynx brothers Apollo and Zeus bask in the sun at Big Cat Rescue.
Rescued from a fur farm, Eurasian lynx brothers Apollo and Zeus bask in the sun at Big Cat Rescue.