In the 18 years I’ve owned The Animal Store, we have had some wonderful staff, but you’ll forgive me when I say that my favorite is my daughter, Becky Bearman. She has been crazy about animals since she was a little girl. As a teen, she worked at the store and helped me launch the Traveling Animal Show.

After she graduated from high school, Becky went on to study marine biology at the University of Miami and got a masters degree in primate conservation from Oxford Brookes in England (proud dad here). She has worked directly with monkeys, apes, reptiles, small mammals, marine mammals, and now birds of prey, plus a bunch I don’t remember (or probably don’t want to know about). She has become a phenomenal teacher, even teaching her old man a thing or two along the way about positive reinforcement training, animal care, and the challenges humans face in our interactions with animals.

As a natural outgrowth of her love of animals, Becky became a strong defender of the environment. Her goal is to learn as much as she cans about animals and to enrich their lives in captivity, because she believes we have a lot to learn from them. By engaging and teaching the public, she hopes we will learn how to protect the animals’ native habitats and the earth that is our home as well as theirs.

One of the things that makes me proudest is Becky’s constant search for knowledge. Now, she is hoping to travel to Antarctica with one of her idols, Animal Ambassador Julie Scardina, to study Emperor penguins. This promises to be an incredible journey and I hope you will help her by voting for her. It’s easy to do: click here, register your email address, confirm your registration and vote.

Thank you in advance for your support. I believe Becky has a lot to teach us all. Next time you stop in, let me know that you voted for her so I can thank you in person; or tell me in a comment. Be sure to share on Twitter or Facebook or wherever your network takes you. Thanks again!