A Lifelong Passion Project

For Gabe Ligon and Josh Mueller, what began as just a seed of passion for animals and education has grown into a thriving haven for exotic animals, conservation initiatives, and educational programs. 

What sets Barn Hill apart from other zoos and zoological facilities is that we place an emphasis on the animal's quality of life and their environment. You won't find a ton of concrete and observation glass at our facility, but rather open fields and grasslands that mimic natural environments that our animal ambassadors are used to. 

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The Crew

One comment we get very often is how our animals seem very happy, and our caretakers play a big part in that happiness. 

Most, if not all of our animal caretakers have previous zoo experience or have formal education & training through a bachelor's degree, or equivalent experience. 

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Josh Mueller

Owner

Josh is a graduate from Louisiana State University with a degree in Wildlife Ecology. He grew up in the small town of Bethany Beach on the eastern shores of Delaware. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at the age of 18 and was active until moving to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

 

He worked under Dr. Mike Metzier as a Veterinarian Technician for four years where his love for animals took root. Josh’s love and understanding of wildlife continues to grow while working at the Barn Hill Animal Preserve.

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Samantha Prestia

Animal Care Manager

Samantha has a BS in wildlife conservation and ecology from University of Delaware. Since graduating, she has worked various jobs in the field of wildlife conservation, including performing bat population surveys in West Virginia and completing internships at wildlife rehabilitation centers and state parks.

 

She has loved animals since an early age and that love was inspired through watching many educational shows and videos about wildlife. Working at Barn Hill Preserve as a mobile educator has been an amazing opportunity for Samantha, not only because she was finally blessed to meet a sloth(!!) but also because she can now hopefully inspire a new generation of kids to love and respect wildlife and their habitat

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Rachel Ejzak

Outreach Manager 

Rachel graduated from Saint Vincent College in Pennsylvania with a BS in Biology. She dreamed of being a teacher since her first day of preschool and developed a love of animals and the outdoors throughout the years. A Boy Scout summer camp gave her an opportunity to combine these passions in their Ecology-Conservation Area, and this led to similar jobs with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pittsburgh Zoo.

 

Rachel's position at Barn Hill Preserve combines everything she loves (wildlife, teaching, and traveling) and gives her an opportunity to educate, inspire, and bring joy to people of all ages.

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Lauren Bailey

Animal Caregiver

Lauren graduated from Towson University with a BS in psychology. Born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Lauren has always had a passion for animals. Starting at a young age, Lauren has volunteered with several animal organizations across the east coast. She loves educating everyone on animal diversity and the importance of environmental conservation.

 

Lauren also loves enriching the lives of each animal and making sure they are always happy. She enjoys studying the behavior of animals and their various interactions with people. Lauren plans to pursue a career in animal therapy and spread awareness for the benefits these relationships.

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Hugh

Animal Caregiver

Hugh has a BS in Animal sciences from the university of Florida. From early childhood he has had a fascination with animals and wildlife. In Florida he spent some time as a veterinary technician for a mobile clinic, treating pets all over central Florida.

Hugh has since returned to Delaware, and started working at Barn Hill Preserve to continue his dream of caring for animals, as well as the opportunity to educate the public about wildlife and promoting its conservation.

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Angela Wu

Animal Caregiver

Angela graduated with a BS in Biology from University of California, Riverside. She has always wanted to work with animals after experiences at a camp learning about different rescued animals. After graduating, Angela interned at wildlife cat sanctuary informing people about the importance of animal rescue. There, she learned that being able to educate people more about the importance of wildlife is an amazing experience.

 

Thus, Barn Hill Preserve has provided a great opportunity for Angela to achieve her goals and working with the different animals that she loves.

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Katelyn Lee

Animal Caregiver

Katelyn graduated from the University of a Lynchburg, with her BA in historical ecology. During her time at school, Katelyn traveled to South Africa to study abroad and volunteer at various game preserves around the country such as; Kruger National Park, Addo Elephant Park and Sibuya Game Reserve working with a variety of exotic animals like Africa’s big 5!

 

Prior to coming to Barn Hill Preserve she worked with livestock and horses, where her passion and love for working with animals grew from a very early age. Katelyn’s position at Barn Hill has given her the ability to educate individuals about the amazing animals we work with, while also informing them about how we can preserve and protect their natural habitats

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Bryanna Garnett

Animal Caregiver

Bryanna graduated from Delaware Valley University in Pennsylvania with a BS in Zoo Science and a minor in Education. She wanted to combine her desire to become a teacher with her passion for animals and decided to pursue a degree that would prepare her for becoming an animal educator. During her time at DelVal, she participated in many hands-on animal experiences, including working with livestock, training a chicken, and performing educational programs about small reptiles.

 

She also participated in internships at the Elmwood Park Zoo and Philadelphia Zoo. These experiences allowed her to work with animal species she only dreamed of working with (like birds of prey!) and allowed her to work closely with and learn from other animal educators. Bryanna’s position at Barn Hill Preserve allows her to continue educating others about the importance of wildlife conservation and she hopes to inspire people of all ages to become animal conservationists and be a voice for our wildlife.

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Our
Conservation
Efforts

Barn Hill's passion for protecting wildlife doesn't stop at the border. Many of our staff members take regular trips around the world to assist in emergency conservation efforts.

This picture was taken of our founder sending a drone up to survey Australian lands ravaged by the 2020 wildfires, searching for animals that survived the blaze. 

Global
Wildlife
Support

In addition to protecting and serving wildlife in danger, we also wanted to create a more direct connection between people and the wild animals they care about, whether they live in different countries or on different continents. So Global Wildlife Support was created.

A 501C-3, the main goal of Global Wildlife Support is to aid wildlife across our ever-changing planet and to help individuals and organizations who share a similar vision. 

To date GWS has donated over $100,000 to conservation efforts in Australia, Guyana and Costa Rica, and has also provided hands on relief after the 2020 Australian bush fires.

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