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Hilda Tresz

of Phoenix Zoo

Born and raised in Budapest, Hungary, Hilda Tresz now resides in Mesa, Arizona, where she has lived since 1989. After graduating high school, she began working as a zookeeper and has been working with animals ever since as a caregiver, enrichment specialist, trainer, educator and behavioral manager, focusing on chimpanzees and general behavioral management for all species for over 28 years. She holds a triple-major degree in Biology, Geography and Education.Hilda Tresz changes the lives of animals, the people that work with them, and institutions that house them. She is currently the Behavioral Enrichment and International Animal Welfare Coordinator at the Phoenix Zoo; as well a mentor for the Jane Goodall Institute. She has worked with numerous international zoos (in India, Israel, Qatar, Egypt, UAE, Mexico, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, China, and other countries) to enhance the psychological wellbeing of chimpanzees and other species. Many international institutions in developing countries have become overwhelmed with the financial and physical demands that are required to care for these animals; too often, many of these animals are left in barren, isolated situations with meager subsidies. Hilda finds solutions by collaborating with these institutions, and their staff to create productive, healthy, mentally stimulating conditions for their animals with little to no funding. She utilizes past experiences to educate her temporary teammates about animal diet and natural behavior to enhance their understanding and encourage ongoing improvement of their husbandry techniques. Because of her passion to leave no chimp isolated, no elephant chained, or no tiger malnourished, she embraces those who may not know and teaches them that they are the voices for those who cannot speak, the guardians for those who cannot step away, and the saviors for those who cannot save themselves.

Four infants met their surrogate parents in Shanghai Wild Animal Park, China

Posted by Hilda Tresz of Phoenix Zoo BACKGROUND: In 2012, in partnership with The Jane Goodall Institute, the Phoenix Zoo created a unique position to promote international animal welfare. Hilda Tresz, the Behavioral Enrichment and International Animal Welfare Coordinator, is responsible for developing and overseeing the Zoo’s Behavioral Enrichment program, but also extends her work beyond the Zoo through an international role…

Dehiwala Zoo making positive changes- Tony and Sanju chimps get a family!

BACKGROUND: In 2012, in partnership with The Jane Goodall Institute, the Phoenix Zoo created a unique position to promote international animal welfare. Hilda Tresz, the Behavioral Enrichment and International Animal Welfare Coordinator, is responsible for developing and overseeing the Zoo’s Behavioral Enrichment program, but also extends her work beyond the Zoo through an international role of…

A week to Change: Phoenix Zoo and Jane Goodall Institute Join Forces to Improve Animal Welfare Around the World

BACKGROUND: In 2012, in partnership with The Jane Goodall Institute, the Phoenix Zoo created a unique position to promote international animal welfare. Hilda Tresz, the Behavioral Enrichment and International Animal Welfare Coordinator, is responsible for developing and overseeing the Zoo’s Behavioral Enrichment program, but also extends her work beyond the Zoo through an international role of…

A week to Change: Phoenix Zoo and Jane Goodall Institute Join Forces to Improve Animal Welfare Around the World

In some zoos of foreign countries with limited knowledge and funding, animals are often found alone in sterile environments, on bare concrete floors and with no “furniture” (climbing structures, resting platforms, visual barriers and the like). Many times they are malnourished, injured and have a variety of behavioral problems. To complicate matters further, when I visit one of these zoos, I typically have only one week to make improvements. In the remaining time, it is my responsibility to assess, negotiate and improvise to make immediate changes with limited available resources.

Phoenix Zoo and Jane Goodall Institute Join Forces to Improve Animal Welfare Around the World

In 2012, in partnership with The Jane Goodall Institute, the Phoenix Zoo created a unique position to promote international animal welfare. Filled by Hilda Tresz, the Behavioral Enrichment and International Animal Welfare Coordinator role is responsible for developing and overseeing the Zoo’s Behavioral Enrichment program, but also extends beyond the Zoo through its international role of assisting zoos improve animal care across the world. This post is the first of a series of stories that will describe the significance and logistics of this position through Hilda’s travels across the globe.