Owl’s Nest to Present at Busch Gardens Tampa, Conservation Connection speakers series

Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife to speak at Busch Gardens, Tampabusch

Returning to her beloved Busch Gardens Tampa, Kris Porter, the Director of Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife,  will be speaking along with Ria Warner, her Director of Education & Outreach, about their mission to protect and conserve native Florida animals while inspiring others to care and appreciate them. We would love to see you there, March 20th at 2:00PM.

Barred Owl Re-Nest 4-8-16

Re-nest the baby Barred Owl

Kris Porter graduated from the University of Florida with a major in Marine Mammals in 1991. Kris took a position with Busch Gardens Tampa Bay as a zoologist in the animal nursery working with everything from birds to koala bears. Starting in Zoo Education and ending as a senior keeper in the Animal Nursery, Kris has worked with over 350 different species of animals. Twelve years after starting a family, Kris worked as a rescue and rehab specialist with Florida Fish and Wildlife. She has rehabilitated many animals, most that have been accidents due to domestic pet attacks, collisions on highways and impact with cars, mothers orphaning their babies, poisoning, fishing hooks, and more. She now serves as Director of the Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife and responds to requests from Florida Fish and Wildlife and the community. Kris is blessed to be able to work with animals for almost 40 years.

16406658_10206449799923682_526179544391366002_nA Florida native, Ria grew up exploring both the outdoors and local zoos and aquariums. After working for several years in the Education and Conservation Department at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, she ventured into a more traditional education setting. While she loved her students and watching them learn, grow, and become inspired, she felt as if something was missing. She still craved a deeper connection to nature so she decided to research how to become a wildlife rehabilitator. Ria began working at Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife and within a year, Ria was named the Director of Education and Outreach and was the first non-founding member on the Board of Directors. Ria continues to work as a full-time teacher while volunteering at both the Avian Veteran Alliance and Owl’s Nest

This is an exciting day and being a two time recipient of the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation fund grant program, to be recognized for all their efforts to protect, rescue and rehabilitate our native wildlife is just icing on the cake.

Busch Gardens March 20 Presentation at 2:00PM 

Included with park admission. Limited seating available on a first-come, first-served basis. Event subject to change and/or cancellation without prior notice.



The Conservation Connection speakers series is just one way Busch Gardens Tampa Bay brings awareness to the SeaWorld Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund was created to raise support for grassroots conservation projects that are truly making a difference. We support a wide range of programs, from reintroducing cheetah to their native ranges in Namibia, to hiring guards to protect elephants from poachers, to saving sea turtle nests along the coasts of Central America from feral animals, to cleaning up beaches littered with marine debris.

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