Bonnie Zimmermann has played a vital role in the avian world since 1987, when her brother arrived on her doorstep with an overweight double yellow-headed parrot named Cookie, plus adoption papers. In 29 years, she has evolved from pet owner to vet tech, to field worker, to founder her first non-profit parrot conservation project, The Wild Connection, and is currently Director of the Indonesian Parrot Project (IPP).

Her quest and passion to know more about parrots led her down diverse paths. In California she worked as an avian vet tech specializing in avian pediatrics at the California Exotics Clinic in Simi Valley, and volunteered on the hospital night shift at the Wildlife Waystation in San Fernando, California.

Since 2002, Bonnie has performed fieldwork in South America and Indonesia. Under the auspices of Indonesian Parrot Project (IPP), since 2003 she has led nine eco-expeditions throughout Indonesia including the Maluku, Masalembu and Raja Ampat archipelagos, educating participants in the beauty and necessity of parrots living wild.

Working alongside Dr. Stewart Metz, the founder of IPP, she helped to develop protocols, for management of rescued birds from the illegal trade, quarantine, medical testing, rehabilitation and ultimately release of birds back into their endemic forests for the Kembali Bebas Avian Rescue & Rehabilitation Center on Seram Island, located in the Moluccas. Currently over 1200 cockatoos, parrots and lories have been released back into their native homes.

Along with continued work on Seram, IPP is focused on protecting and conserving Yellow-crested cockatoos all of which critically endangered, with current focus on the Abbotti cockatoo. Found only on one small island in the Java Sea it was believed they had gone extinct. Rediscovered in 2007 with a population of less than 7 birds, currently the population is up to 22.

Bonnie stands as an active advocate, author and spokesperson. She lectures regularly at bird clubs, conservation organizations, schools and universities. Her articles have appeared in such publications as Parrots Magazine, PsittaScene, American Federation of Aviculture, Notes From the Field, Audubon, Society for the Protection of Animals, and Bird Talk and has co-authored two books that have been published in Indonesia.

FRIDAY

 5-hour animal behavior & training workshop with Lara Joseph

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ZOO TOUR

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Testimonials

The Animal Behavior Center
"Visiting The Animal Behavior Center was like a breath of fresh air. Her passion and dedication for providing outstanding care to her animals was reflected in literally every inch of her center. Without a doubt, she has gone above and beyond to ensure that her animals are never without both mental and physical enrichment. The level of care that she provides for her animals should be the standard. While I was at the center, I had the privilege of watching Lara train her animals and mine and it is clear that she is an exceptionally talented trainer. Every interaction she has with her animals, formal training session or not, is flexible and focused on creating an environment in which they are comfortable and empowered.
As a future veterinary behaviorist, I aspire to reach Lara's level of finesse, expertise, and thoughtfulness in every aspect of animal training and husbandry. She is truly in it for the animals."