Dr. James Chatterton

All the way from Sheffield in Northern England, James brings a lot of talent and experience to his role as Manager of Veterinary Services at Auckland Zoo. After graduating in veterinary medicine at Edinburgh University, he worked with domestic species for eight years, followed by zoo and wildlife species for nine years, before joining Auckland Zoo five years ago. He loves providing veterinary care for such a large range of animals, and finds it extremely rewarding being directly involved in the conservation of endangered species. His most memorable zoo moment involved treating a male kākāpō with severe wing injuries in the Auckland Zoo Vet Hospital, releasing it back into the wild, and then coming across two of his offspring when undertaking conservation fieldwork in the wild.

“In New Zealand, we are lucky to live in a society that already values wild animals and their natural environment, however the environment is under increasing pressure. We can all easily make small changes to our own lives, and the combined effect of these millions of small changes will be a huge positive step forward for our environment.”

Dr. An Pas

Originally from Belgium, “the land of chocolate and smurfs” as An describes it, she began her career working with domestic animals, but a desire to see the world and work with wildlife led to 18-years working on projects in Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East. An has now been with Auckland Zoo for five years and loves that there is so much more to learn and discover about the variety of species she now works with. She is unable to pick just one special moment in her career, but being able to use her skills to do things like: assist rescuing a chimp that spent years in isolation in Lebanon; releasing rescued monkeys back into a forest in Nigeria after years of rehabilitation; or contributing to research that may help save future species from extinction are all incredibly special to her.

“I wish we would all see the world as one, not as all separate entities that compete for the same space. If we believe that we are all connected, we show respect for all the surrounds us, ourselves, and each other, then we will find solutions for the many challenges the world faces.”

Dr Adam Naylor

Adam was born in southern England and graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London, in 2007. After working initially in referral exotic animal practice, he moved to the USA in 2011 to undertake an internship in wildlife medicine at the Wildlife Center of Virginia. This was followed by a Master’s degree in Wild Animal Health at London Zoo and a second internship in Zoological Medicine at Bristol Zoo Gardens. In 2014, Adam joined the veterinary department of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), Edinburgh Zoo, as the first European College of Zoological Medicine Resident in Zoo Health Management in the UK. In 2018 Adam successfully passed the European and American specialist board examinations, becoming a recognised specialist in zoo and wildlife medicine on both continents. 

Adam remained in Scotland for nearly nine years, providing veterinary services to RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, RZSS Highland Wildlife Park, and numerous field conservation projects based in Scotland and abroad. These included the reintroduction of the Eurasian beaver to the UK, the recovery of the European wildcat in Scotland, and the Gough Island Restoration programme - an ambitious project to remove invasive mice from one of the most important (and remote!) seabird nesting islands in the world. In joining our Auckland Zoo veterinary team, Adam hopes to combine his love of zoo medicine with his passion for native species conservation. He also has a soft spot for penguins and is looking forward to working with the fascinating species which call New Zealand home.

“It can often feel overwhelming to see media reports about the state of our natural world and like we’re powerless to help against such colossal global issues; however, there are always reasons for optimism! Small changes in what we eat, how we travel, and the waste we leave behind really do add up. Be a conservation optimist and make a positive change today!” You can find some helpful info on the WWF website

Dr Hannah Edwards
Originally from Australia, Hannah always wanted to be a veterinarian. Following her dreams, Hannah graduated in Veterinary Science through the University of Sydney, Australia, in 2016. She spent the next five years working around rural NSW and Victoria treating both domestic animals and wildlife, including dogs, cats, horses, alpaca, deer, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, fish, kangaroos, and birds before moving to New Zealand to start her residency here at the Auckland Zoo vet hospital.

As a vet, having the chance to work with unique species and a team of dedicated people that value diversity, conservation, and science is a dream come true for Hannah. Hannah's doctoral research at Auckland Zoo is focused on reviewing the medical information that is published on native New Zealand species, and to understand how zoo and wildlife vets practice evidence-based veterinary medicine.

Some of Hannah's memorable moments have been working closely with the critically endangered kākāpō, anaesthetising the Zoo’s Sumatran tiger for a health check, and performing a post-mortem examination of a wild leopard seal.

"It's not always easy, but there are many paths you can take to reach your goals; studying and doing things you love is so fulfilling. It helps to drive you and give you the strength to overcome obstacles. Volunteering is a great way to dip your toes into the animal care and conservation space and see what interests you."

Mikaylie Wilson

Originally from Australia, Mikaylie Wilson began her zoo veterinary nursing career 22 years ago at Taronga Zoo. With a wealth of experience under her belt, Mikaylie worked at multiple zoos, an aquarium and marine mammal rescue centres with seal pups and seal rehabilitation, before becoming our Clinical Coordinator nine years ago. Mikaylie loves the variety in her role, and being directly involved in the conservation of endangered species – especially her involvement in the kākāpō breeding season. Being on an amazing island, listening to adult males booming in the middle of the night, whilst walking across the island to perform a health check on a newly hatched kākāpō chick is a moment she describes as incredible, surreal and a career highlight.

“While we are fit and able, every small decision makes a difference to our future generations and wildlife. Say NO to as much plastic as you can! Every small step helps the environment, remember your children are watching and absorbing everything you do, so set the best example.”

Celine Campana

Celine Campana qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2000 and gained experience in small animal practice before discovering her true love – conservation work. After becoming involved with a Sea Turtle charity in Greece, Celine spent almost ten years working winters in the UK as a veterinary nurse, followed by summers working with endangered sea turtles on the beaches of Greece and Costa Rica. Conservation work became so important to Celine that she wanted to work in a major zoo, so spent six years in Paignton Zoo, and returned to New Zealand to begin at Auckland Zoo in 2017. Celine finds it rewarding to use her skills to contribute to conservation in New Zealand, and her memorable work moments include hand-raising Ohope, a starving little penguin chick that was brought into the Vet Hospital for treatment. Unable to be released, watching Ohope join the Zoo’s penguin colony was Celine’s favourite Zoo moment so far!

“You don’t have to be a veterinarian to make a positive impact, we can make the world a better place by changing our habits. Refuse plastic bags and straws, buy products with less packaging, don’t support unsustainable palm oil, and tell family and friends about the challenges faced by our natural world.”

Breeze Buchanan

Breeze was lucky enough to grow up on the beautiful Thames Coast where both her parents work in conservation, undoubtedly leading her to a career in Veterinary nursing and a drive to do her bit for conservation. Breeze has been with the Auckland Zoo team since 2014, previously gaining experience in general practices and the Animal Emergency Centre. Breeze loves being part of such a passionate and dedicated team that works together to make a difference in their patients’ lives. She feels privileged to have worked with endangered wildlife such as kiwi and takahē, and also finds nursing stranded sea turtles very rewarding. While difficult to choose just one out of so many special moments, a particularly special moment for Breeze was sending kākāpō back to the wild after months of intensive treatment for aspergillosis at Auckland Zoo. It was incredibly rewarding after the hard work of getting them back to health, to see them go home to hopefully further bolster the kākāpō population in years to come.

“Human activities are causing huge amounts of destruction to the environment, threatening not only our special animals but our own future as well. If everyone works together to do their bit for the environment it would go a long way towards saving our planet.”