OUR TEAM AND CULTURE
We are a team of professionals dedicated to promoting the conservation and propagation of rare and endangered species in captivity and sharing our knowledge with others.
Mario Tabraue is the co-founder and president of the Zoological Wildlife Foundation. He is strongly committed to exotic animal care, nutrition and behavior, and strives to use his knowledge and experience to inspire others.
At the Foundation, Mr. Tabraue applies his life-long passion for wildlife to create one-of-a-kind experiences with exotic animals, leading to exceptional encounters every day. His years of dedication to this endeavor have allowed him to better understand the endangered and rescued animals that call the Zoological Wildlife Foundation home. Several ZAA accredited facilities and veterinarians from around the world contact Mr. Tabraue for healthcare advice on wildlife in order to extend the survival rate of animals from birth.
Over the past 40 years, Mr. Tabraue and his team have created an environment for animals to stay healthy and improve their quality of life. The Foundation is the realization of a dream, and represents his enthusiasm for wildlife around the world. By housing a wide variety of exotic animals that serve as ambassadors for their species, it fulfills the educational and conservation-oriented goals that led Mr. Tabraue to start this journey.
Maria C. Tabraue is the co-President and Director of the Zoological Wildlife Foundation (ZWF). As a young child, she began watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wildlife Kingdom with her father on Sunday afternoons and daydreamed of caring for exotic animals.
In 2000, Maria saw her dream come true when she became the surrogate mother to a leopard cub that she named “Gypsy.” As her bond with Gypsy grew deeper, so did her dreams to own a zoo. In 2001 she helped establish ZWF, which today cultivates a one-of-akind experience for the foundation’s first time visitors and loyal supporters.
Today, Maria continues to be passionate about the conservation and education of wildlife. She makes it her daily mission to help animals that are vulnerable to endangerment. For the past 15 years Maria has dedicated herself to ZWF by caring for the zoo’s near 200 animal residents and managing the day-to-day operations .
Along with her team at ZWF, she has focused on making ZWF educational, interactive and fun for families by providing an up-close-and-personal approach with wildlife. This has established ZWF as one of the top attractions in South Florida. Maria and her team at ZWF stay involved with the community and often bring their animal ‘ambassadors’ to schools and special events to educate the community about Earth’s amazing animals.
Maria has always been the person working behind the scenes to make many of ZWF’s partnerships possible. This includes the foundation’s partnerships with the Humane Society, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Live Like Bella, and the Zoological Association of America. She has also led the foundation’s participation in several conservation programs around the world, including programs in Africa and Asia.
Maria holds an associate legal assistance from Florida International University, and a bachelor’s degree in professional management Nova University. She is on the Miami Gala Executive Committee for St. Jude Research Hospital. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Women, and received the distinction of being honored as the 2014 Professional Woman of the Year.
Lauren is in charge of greeting you, organizing your adventure and booking your tour. She is always smiling and happy to help!
Marilou’s life dream is to go on an african safari and see animals in the wild.
She loves working with animals and puts a lot of time raising awareness about endangered species.
By working at ZWF she is able to get closer to her dreams, help animals and live life like a daily adventure.
Andrea has been with ZWF Miami for more than 5 years. Besides our tour guide leader, she also trains all our small felines. Her experience allows her to work with our most challenging small animals!
Caroline is responsible for the care of our young animals and for ensuring that you have the most educational and entertaining tour when she is your guide!
Janesse has been working at the ZFW Miami for a few years now. She knows all of our exotic friends very well and loves her job!
My name is Kyle my passion is animals, I have been working with animals since I was 15 years old and have been doing it ever since. My favorite animal is the Amur leopard.
There is not one animal that is not overseen by Jose. He is in charge of the daily activities of our animal friends at ZWF Miami. He regularly monitors their health and grooming - our very own animal whisperer!
Morgan trains and manages all the big cats for our live events and educational presentations. He is also responsible for the care, management and breeding of our exotic friends.
Nestor oversees the zoo grounds and enclosures. He makes sure everyone is safe here at ZWF Miami!
Stephen’s favorite animal is a clouded leopard. His favorite animal to work with are Khiera & Kumba - the white lions.
He has a passion for animals and loves to make enrichments for them!
David has a passion for reptiles and the Everglades. He enjoys seeing animals in their natural environment. At ZWF, David has spent a lot of time with the tiger cubs - watching them grow has been an amazing experience that he would not trade for anything!