Hanna Sundstrom, Lead Animal Keeper

Favorite Animal? AWCC: It’s hard for me to choose a favorite animal, but I have always been interested in bears, so they’re at the top of my list. I also gained a huge appreciation for muskox and moose while I’ve been here – they have a much larger personality than people realize. Overall: Giraffes were the first exotic I worked with, so they also hold a special place in my heart.  
Where are you from? Duluth, Minnesota
Education? University of Minnesota – Twin Cities Major: Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology with an emphasis in Wildlife
Aspirations? I have always wanted to work for a facility like AWCC because I believe this is the best way to help the public become interested in conservation. Places like AWCC allow the public to make a connection with wildlife and encourage them to participate in conservation techniques. To be part of that connection is incredibly special to me, as I want to continue working in this field in order to help advance animal care and conservation.
What has AWCC done for you? I was an intern at AWCC in 2014, and it was then that I fell in love with Alaska. When I was given the opportunity to come back, I was incredibly excited. AWCC has huge potential to grow and become a top animal care and wildlife education facility here in Alaska, and that’s something I’m excited to participate in. 
Plans after this? My plans are to stay here in Alaska, and hopefully move out of the bunkhouse at AWCC and into Girdwood.

Cassie Desrochers, Animal Care Intern

Favorite Animal? AWCC: As of right now, the musk ox calves are my favorite (they are just so cute!). Overall: It’s hard to choose a favorite, but I’d have to say mine is a Dromedary, or a single humped camel.
Where are you from? Waltham, Massachusetts
Education? B.S. in Animal Behavior at the University of New England in Maine
Aspirations? One of my biggest aspirations is to find a job where whatever I’m doing is having a positive impact on the world and its inhabitants. 
How do you hope AWCC will help you accomplish your aspirations? I am hoping AWCC will show me the hands of animal care, as well as educating the public about wildlife conservation.  
Plans after this? I just graduated, and currently have no plans.
Anything else? I’m excited about all the new people I have met and will meet because of AWCC, and I can’t wait to see where this internship takes me. 

*Keep checking for more information about our Animal Care Staff!

Discover the WILD of Alaska and come meet the locals! Walk on the Wild Side Tours are available year-round and include an animal encounter. Summer Moose Encounters & Bear Encounters are available for online booking. Book early to ensure your spot!