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Our Team


Amy Baxendell-Young


Amy began her career with us as a member of the Animal Care Team in July 2016, after moving to Canada from Sydney, Australia in 2014. She attended the University of Western Sydney where she graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Animal Science. Her extensive career has involved working with five of the eight extant species of bears, which include Sun bears, Asiatic Black bears, North American Black bears, Brown bears and most recently, Polar bears. 

Over the years, Amy has played a role in all aspects of The Habitat, including conservation projects, education and fundraising. A highlight for her was taking part in Polar Bears International's (PBI) 2019 Climate Alliance program. Since then, Amy has also been chosen to be a Field Ambassador for PBI.


Recently, Amy has been promoted to the position of Manager. While the bears will always be her number one passion and priority, she is excited to help strengthen and further the facility, in order to continue providing the best care for polar bears in need. 

Amorena Ridding

Guest Services Team Leader

Amorena is the newest member of our Guests Services Team, having joined us as Team Leader in July, 2022. 

After moving to Cochrane from Coldwater, ON, Amorena has quickly settled into her new role. She has many years of experience in the customer service industry, and as a life-long animal lover, she is enjoying learning more about our bears. 

Amorena is the first friendly face you will see when arriving at the Habitat, and she enjoys nothing more than chatting with guests and sharing her passion for the bears. 

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Kearin Goff

Animal Care Team Leader

Kearin began working at The Habitat in June, 2021 after attaining her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Guelph, majoring in zoology. She stepped up into the Team Leader position March of 2022. 


Kearin was drawn to The Habitat for our naturalistic approach to animal care and focus on conservation. She is passionate about animal welfare and advocating for wild polar bears.


In addition to providing exceptional care to our bears every day, Kearin has taken on the role of Chair Person for the PBH Education Committee. With the assistance of this committee, Kearin is working to improve and expand our educational programming.  


Gail Palmer

Animal Care Team

Gail joined The Habitat team in May, 2022. Gail holds a Fish and Wildlife Technician diploma from Fleming College and has worked with animals for most of her career and personal life.


As an avid dog-sled racer, Gail brings with her many years of experience with behavioural training. She is excited to work more with our bears, in particular, to help train new behaviours for veterinary and research purposes. 

Austin McIntosh

Animal Care Team - Intern

We are delighted to welcome Austin as the newest member of the Animal Care team. as of August 2022. Austin attained his Fish and Wildlife Technician diploma from Fleming College, and is the first Animal Care Intern.  

Austin is enthusiastic about wildlife conservation. He spends much of his free time observing and photographing wildlife. He is eager to learn more about polar bears and their conservation efforts, so he can share his knowledge with the public.  

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