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Following in My Mom’s Footsteps

May 12, 2024

Following in My Mom’s Footsteps

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Kathryn Bennett Kathryn Bennett

For many people, visiting zoos and aquariums and connecting with animals inspires them in numerous ways. For me, it changed my life.

My mom, Edwardyne Cowan, worked at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium in the late 1990s. She had brought me to the Aquarium since I was a little girl. Some of my earliest memories are of the distinct smell of fish in the animal food storage trailer and a beluga whale encounter during a training session (above, inset, with my mom and sister).

Following in my mom’s footsteps, I started my journey at the New York Aquarium four years ago. During this time, I have had the privilege of learning from talented trainers, including the Aquarium’s long-time supervisor Martha Hiatt who taught my mom to be a trainer over two decades prior. I have also been fortunate to help care for the same sea lions my mom had trained while working at the Aquarium (above).

This Mother’s Day, I am reminded of how my mom fostered my love for this career and helped me grow my passion. It is a testament to how the New York Aquarium helps to further deep compassion for conserving these magnificent animals.

WCS’s wildlife parks provide safe spaces for guests to encounter animals and inspire them to help protect wildlife, just like my mom bringing me up at the Aquarium motivated me to dedicate my life to caring for them and be the wild animal trainer I am today.

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Stacy Ratel
May 12, 2024 at 12:39 pm

This blog is a wonderful testament to the love you share with your mom, and your commitment to helping animals who need your care. ♥️

    Kathryn Bennett
    May 13, 2024 at 8:57 pm

    Thank you so much for this comment ❤️