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MaryEllen Schoeman, the founder of Wild Things, brings years of experience to her profession. During a varied career here and abroad, she was worked with cheetahs, tigers, bears, servals, tortoises, and a wealth of other exotics. She is particularly devoted to cats both large and small, and served on the Board of the Southern California Chapter of the Cheetah Conservation Fund. She lived in South Africa for three months helping to raise infant cheetahs and work with adult cheetahs on educational programs.

She is also Vice President of Animal Advocates, a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation non-profit, and has personally rehabbed and released hundreds of animals, including raccoons, skunks, opossums, and squirrels. Taking wildlife rehab to an international level, she spent three months in rural Ecuador, working to rehabilitate and release

wildlife seized from the illegal pet trade, including monkeys, parrots, macaws, kinkajous, and coatis. As a volunteer animal keeper at the Los Angeles Zoo, she took care of an Indian Rhino, two hippos, several raptors, and a variety of reptiles. She also regularly handled reptiles, amphibians, and small exotic mammals as a volunteer educator at the Wildlife Learning Center. She is a graduate of the Hollywood Animals Professional Training Course, the Los Angeles Zoo Animal Keeper Course, the Humane Law Academy, and the International Council for Wildlife Rehabilitators Basic and Advanced Wildlife Care course. MaryEllen is certified in animal first aid and CPR and is a member of the California Council of Wildlife Rehabilitators, the International Council of Wildlife Rehabilitators, the Cheetah Conservation Fund, the Association of Professional Wildlife Educators, and Mensa.