Cari Wittenborn

Project Assistant
Zoological Disaster Response, Rescue, and Recovery (ZDR3), United States
Country: United States


A proud Texas A&M Grad, she started her career in the education department of The Texas Zoo in Victoria, TX. She progressed in her career there to be the Animal Welfare Manager, and eventually the Director.

Cari now serves as the Project Assistant for Zoological Disaster Response, Rescue, and Recovery. ZDR3 is the largest zoological disaster response organization in the United States. ZDR3 provides support to zoos, aquariums, sanctuaries, and other non-domestic animal businesses before, during, and after significant incidents.

Cloud Based Resource Inventory Tracking and Deployment for Exotic Disaster Response, Rescue, and Recovery

In 2017 the Texas coast was hit by Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 Hurricane that dropped up to 1.5 meters of rainfall over 4 days. Some facilities lacked the ability to respond on their own ,and needed outside support and resources. A small group of zoological facilities responded, but with little to no coordination. Many lessons were learned, including the need for coordinated communications and resource management. In 2020 and 2021 ZDR3 and AnimalCare Software received grants from Zoo and Aquarium All Hazards Preparedness (ZAHP) to develop a platform for a Communication and Resource Management information sharing system for Zoological Emergency Response Groups. We will discuss the outcome of those lessons learned, and how they applied to the development of a solution