San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Academy Newsletter
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Getting Better All the Time
Understanding the New Bird Regulations—Bolstering Inspection Readiness and Providing
Even Better Care

toucan on a branch

By James F. Gesualdi

Everyone reading this wants birds and other wildlife, especially those covered under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), to live even better lives—where their interests, protection, and well-being are foremost and advanced. The new welfare standards for birds published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) represent a meaningful step forward for birds. This column has endeavored to make the most of these regulations and associated, still-evolving guidance to help you better help birds by weighing in on and preparing for the regulations during the rulemaking process, and offering insights on how to be ready for implementation and inspection. The regulations have now been legally in operation, inspected, and enforced with respect to existing licensees like zoos, aquariums, wildlife parks, and sanctuaries for several months, so this is a good time to review the real-world application of the regulations.


A Season of Giving—and for Giving Thanks:
Take Time, Count Your Blessings,
and Be Ever Thankful

By James F. Gesualdi

Giving of oneself, one’s presence, and one’s time is invaluable—and that is truest when doing so involves giving thanks. It is a humble and joyous acknowledgment that a fellow soul on this journey with us cared and gave of themselves to ease or lift our way. We then further elevate our brothers and sisters by thanking them for their goodness on our behalf, or on behalf of animals. Love may be the strongest force for good in the world, and gratitude is a tangible form of love in action, in response to an act of loving kindness.

Academy News
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San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Academy Puts the Sunset Zoo in the Spotlight

Sunset Zoo is part of the Academy’s collaborative learning environment.

Visit their website >

Safe Capture

The Academy’s Safe Capture program offers in-person, virtual, and e-learning training for the chemical immobilization and anesthesia of domestic and wildlife species. Learn more about Safe Capture training.

News from Recent Safe Capture Training Events

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our October training events at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Utah’s Hogle Zoo, and our November livestream event and in-person event at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. These events drew enthusiastic participants from around the US and Rwanda, including veterinarians, wildlife biologists, students, and other domestic animal and wildlife management specialists. We are so glad you could join us!

Upcoming Safe Capture In-person Training Events

Registration is now open for the following Academy Safe Capture in-person events:

California (Escondido): January 24–25, 2024: This event is being hosted by San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and is open to all participants.

Georgia (Athens): February 17–18, 2024: This event is being hosted by the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, and is open to all participants.

California (Davis): February 24–25, 2024: This event is being hosted by the University of California, Davis, and is open to all participants.


CE credits approved by the following organizations:


For more information, or to register for these events, please visit the Safe Capture training.

Wildlife Medicine Training Opportunity
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Looking for an additional wildlife medicine online training opportunity? The National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA) has a new course with RACE-approved content to provide veterinary practitioners with an introduction on how to approach wildlife medicine cases for the purpose of stabilizing an animal and subsequently transferring to an authorized wildlife rehabilitator. Academy members receive 10% off registration in 2023 with code: SDZWAA.

Academy Technical Support
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Have a question about your learning account? Our learning partner, CypherWorx, has a very robust support hub where you can search for help! Visit the CypherWorx Support Hub for more details.

If you need more specific help, you can also submit a help ticket through the support hub, or call 888-685-4440 to speak with a CypherWorx customer support representative.

Academy Information

For more information about the Academy, please send us an email at

Interested in Joining the Academy?

Individual, group, and institution rates are available. Please contact


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