Jenifer A. Zeligs, Ph.D. is the founder and director of the SLEWTHS (Science, Learning and Exploration With The Help of Sea Lions) program. She is responsible for the program's direction and vision, as well as the overall management of the animal collection and staff.
Dr. Zeligs has been working with animals when she got her start at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Since that time she has trained dozens of species of terrestrial and aquatic animals, but she has specialized primarily in marine mammals. She has also worked as a training consultant with exotic and domestic animals, as a veterinary technician, and with animals trained to assist the handicapped.
She has trained animals for research, free release in the open-ocean, feature films and documentaries, public display and veterinary purposes. She has collaborated with numerous facilities and organizations, including work with Sea World of San Diego on the release of JJ, the grey whale, and work with Alliance for Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums on the reauthorization of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Dr. Zeligs has been featured in over a dozen documentaries including National Geographic Explorer, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Dateline, NBC.