Storandt Steps In As Wildwood Zoo Manager

MARSHFIELD, WI (OnFocus) – After the departure of Steve Burns in late 2021, longtime Wildwood Zoo employee Sarah Storandt will be taking over operations of the Zoo.

The Wisconsin Rapids native will keep her roots in central Wisconsin as she takes on a new opportunity with Wildwood Zoo.

Previous to working with the Zoo, Storandt interned at the Minnesota Wildlife Rehabilitation Center while she finished up her degree at UW-River Falls. There, she worked with injured and orphaned mammals in the nursery.

She has also had prior zoo experience as she worked as a zoo attendant at the Wisconsin Rapids Municipal Zoo.

Storandt previously worked as the Education Coordinator at Wildwood Zoo, where she handled the majority of the organization’s event programming which includes: Wild Wednesdays, Camp Wildwood, zoo tours, social media, and special event planning.

Storandt said that even though her title was the Education Coordinator, she helped in other aspects of the Zoo as well.

“As Wildwood Zoo is a tightly staffed operation, I also had a large role in both animal husbandry and maintenance in conjunction with education,” Storandt said. “I had the opportunity to be trained into each area within the zoo, which prepared me very well to step into this new role.”

The newest Zoo Manager has goals to educate the public while keeping the Zoo an inviting place to come with the family.

“I don’t think you can overstate the role that education has in a zoo setting,” Storandt said. “I would love to continue developing new programs and expanding our outreach options. With the addition of these new programs, introducing new animal ambassadors to the zoo would be a great way to form connections with our guests.”

Keeping the animals at the zoo healthy and happy will also be a priority for Storandt during her tenure.

“I also am very passionate about animal training as a way to give our animals as much choice and control over their care as possible,” Storandt said. “Everything from voluntary blood draws to stepping on a scale helps provide the highest level of care and the training itself is great enrichment. Continuing to build on our training program and develop new behaviors is something I started as the education coordinator and am very excited to continue!”

The zoo is not only a place to go to see animals and be closer to nature, but it is also a vital part of the community. Ensuring that everyone from animals, to guests of the Zoo, to the employees are all accounted for is something that Storandt says she will put an emphasis on during her time as Zoo Manager.

“As an employee of Wildwood Zoo for the past (almost) five years, I have had a firsthand look at the important role the zoo plays in the community,” Storandt said. “It truly is a very special place with an incredible support system in the city and the citizens of Marshfield. I have gotten to know what is expected of the zoo and its employees by our guests, animals, and staff.

“I am always open to learning new things and look forward to the upcoming opportunities that will allow that growth. Having an open line of communication to both zoo staff and guests is very important to me and I am always happy to answer any questions to the best of my ability.”

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News Desk
Author: News Desk