a unique connection to nature
Sunset Wildlife Connection is a non-profit 501(c)(3) exotic animal sanctuary and are dedicated to animal education and wildlife conservation. Our mission is to help educate the public about the importance of wildlife and wild places through our unique Wildlife Connection Encounters.
Wild places, the environment, and animals are struggling to survive in the wild due to human impacts and climate change. Each animal in our environment is important and we are here to teach you why and what you can do to help wildlife around the world.
Through our wildlife encounters, our goal is to share our passion for wildlife and conservation with you in hopes that you will want to also conserve our planet and the amazing animals on it.
“If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched. Share my wildlife with me. Because humans want to save things that they love.”
― Steve Irwin
Margaret has dedicated her life to wildlife and conservation. She is originally from Chicago but at the age of 18, she worked at the Farm Country at Thanksgiving Point outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She went on to study for her Associates Degree in Zoo Animal Technology at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida where she worked as a zookeeper while achieving her degree. After graduation she worked for Joel Slaven Professional Animals where she trained a variety of animals from cats and dogs to eagles and camels.
In her late 20’s, Margaret returned to school at the University of West Florida to achieve her Bachelors of Arts in Legal Studies with a minor in Environmental Science. She is now currently enrolled at the University of Florida as a masters student in the Wildlife Forensics and Conservation Masters of Science program.
In 2019, Margaret volunteered for two weeks in Kenya where she helped gather informational research with African elephants, lions, cheetah, leopards, and other African wildlife. In 2021 Margaret and Marissa founded Sunset Wildlife Connections. Margaret works in all aspects of SWC from the daily animal care to our Connection Encounters to the future vision and expansion of the foundation.
Marissa was born and raised on an alpaca farm near Tampa, Florida. After working as a gymnastic coach for 10 years, in 2016, Marissa started working for Joel Slaven Professional Animals at Busch Gardens Tampa. She worked with a variety of animals including dogs, cats, pigs, monkeys, parrots, and camels. In 2018, Marissa moved to Pensacola, Florida and took a job as a zookeeper at the Gulf Breeze Zoo. She helped raise baby animals, introduce new orangutans to the zoo, present education animals with Keeper Talks, and more.
In the spring of 2021, Marissa and Margaret founded Sunset Wildlife Connections. Marissa now works as a wildlife specialist and helps with animal care, our Wildlife Connections, and the future vision of the foundation.
Tommy is Margaret's husband and is originally from San Antonio, Texas. He moved to Pensacola, Florida in 2018 and opened an appliance repair business. In 2019, Tommy volunteered for two weeks in Kenya where he helped gather informational research with African elephants, lions, cheetahs, leopards, and other African wildlife. Now Tommy runs his appliance business full-time, as well as works part-time at Sunset Wildlife Connections. Both he and Margaret live at the SWC facility with all of the animals. Tommy helps with the daily care of the ambassador animals and occasionally helps with our Connection Encounters.
Sunset Wildlife Connection
Copyright © 2022 Sunset Wildlife Connection Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
Sunset Wildlife Connection is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
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Through our Youtube channel and Vlogs, we aim to show you the good, bad, and amazing life of exotic animal rescue, education, and wildlife conservation work.