Hello. Julie Scardina here. A trip to the Pantanal, how cool is that?! Of course, being a career animal trainer up until several years ago, I hadn't been able to make many trips abroad for business, so I had never even heard of the Pantanal. Once I did however, my conservationist/biologist side took over, and I immediately wanted to visit this great wilderness area.
I was born with a deep passion for animals – I've always had it. That's why I selected training animals, it gives me the opportunity to develop amazingly close relationships and communicate with them. In essence, an animal trainer is parent, friend, and teacher all wrapped into one. Along with that love for animals I think it is inevitable that there is also a love of the land and water that sustains life. As a result, I care deeply about the health of wild areas around the globe, and want to see firsthand what's being done to protect the outdoors. Working as Animal Ambassador for SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Discovery Cove has allowed me to become more active on the environmental and conservation front, as that is part of the Anhueser-Busch Adventure Parks' mission. So this trip allows me the opportunity to see our support and look for animals in the wild at the same time. So ready or not Brazil, here I come!
Julie graduated from Moorpark College's Exotic Animal Training and Management Program, then went on to San Diego State University and received a degree in Psychology with a minor in Biology. She has worked as an animal trainer for over 20 years at SeaWorld, and also for SAIC and the US Navy Mammal Programs. Julie became the Animal Ambassador and Spokesperson for Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks in 1995 while still working as curator of animal training for SeaWorld San Diego. Due to the growth and importance of this Ambassador role, in 1998 Julie became corporate curator/Animal Ambassador for the Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks full time. Along with her role working with the parks' environmental partners, Julie appears regularly on shows such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Rosie O'Donnell, and many LA and San Diego news programs, as well as Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures.
Julie is a professional member of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators, and past president of International Marine Animal Trainers' Association. She is also a member of many conservation organizations, does volunteer wildlife rescue and education in San Diego County and is active in supporting her local humane society.