Meet the Team
Dr. Mike Burton
Dr. Burton has worked at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay for more than a decade. He earned his Bachelor of Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Burton has practiced veterinary medicine in zoological settings all over the world, including Oklahoma City Zoo, Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, the Taipei City Zoo in Taiwan and the Wellington Zoo in New Zealand.
As a through-and-through animal lover, Dr. Burton appreciates how Busch Gardens demonstrates a commitment to the conservation and preservation of animals, and he enjoys sharing his passion with park guests at the Animal Care Center.
Dr. Peter Black
Dr. Black received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota. He began performing wildlife rehabilitation medicine at the Wildlife Center of Virginia immediately following school and served a three-year residency in Zoological Medicine at the Saint Louis Zoo before coming to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in 2010.
Dr. Black loves variety, both in the animals he works with and the procedures he performs. As a senior veterinarian, Dr. Black works with more than 12,000 animals representing more than 300 species.
Dr. Dominique Keller
Dr. Dominique Keller grew up in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jamaica, Italy, and Australia which gave her a unique chance to see many wild animals in their native habitats. It's not surprising that she was drawn to the zoological veterinary field since childhood.
She developed a love for marsupials after working with endangered species for a portion of her undergraduate degree and graduate research in Australia. Dr. Keller can also speak French and Italian! Her interest in combining clinic work with practical conservation, ties in well with the education and conservation mission of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.
Dr. Maria Spriggs
As a kid, Dr. Maria Spriggs was hooked on pretty much anything animal-related. Growing up, she volunteered at her local museums, started riding horses when she was 10, and loved going to the zoo with her family.
She worked as a veterinary assistant during her time in college at The Ohio State University and her passion was reinforced after witnessing what the veterinarians did for animals at the rehabilitation centers she visited in South Africa. She loves learning, working in the field, and sharing her experience with the guests in our park.
Dr. Nancy Stedman
Dr. Stedman decided the field of pathology was the best way to really understand what disease is, and that understanding disease is the key to being able to prevent and treat it. Dr. Stedman received both her Bachelor of Science in Avian Sciences and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of California at Davis, and earned her PhD in Pathology from the University of Georgia.
Dr. Stedman loves that she has the opportunity to work with a wide variety of species, from insects and marine invertebrates to cetaceans and elephants. It's a great learning experience and has made her appreciate the beauty and complexity of the animal kingdom.
The Wildlife Docs
Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Animal Care CenterThis unique behind-the-scenes tour will show you what happens when expertise is combined with passion. You will get the opportunity to see what our veterinary and zoological staff does every day including lifesaving treatments, comprehensive medical exams and life-enriching programs. Through this tour, you will get a better understanding of what it takes to take care of the animals that call Busch Gardens home.
Things to know before you go:
• Content may not be suitable for some participants. Guests on tour may witness live medical procedures.
• Children must be ages 8 and up to participate. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult.
Pass Members save 10% on this experience. Please log in to see discounted pricing.
The Animal Care Center Tour is subject to availability. Limited quantities are available each day.
Park admission is not included and is required. Prices listed are per person and do not include tax. Tours must be cancelled a minimum of 24 hours in advance or total payment is forfeited. Tours are non-refundable if guests miss their tour time. If you have any questions or need to adjust your reservation, call (813)884-4FUN(4386). All tours are subject to availability. Animal interactions and program components may vary. All tour components and pricing are subject to change.Behind-the-scenes