BW Consultants: Rick Hester

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Rick Hester is the Curator of Behavioral Husbandry for the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado. He oversees all the zoo's behavioral programming. His work includes the zoo's animal training for husbandry, medical, and public show behaviors, enrichment, developing programs to improve problem behavior situations, the zoo's formal animal welfare assessments, and exhibit design for behavior goals. He has worked at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo since 2006. Much of that time he was an animal keeper caring for a wide variety of species, including small primates, great apes, penguins, African lions, and bears. In 2015, he started working with Dr. Susan Friedman and began to understand the importance of behavior analysis and its application for animals in human care. He is adjunct faculty at Colorado State University in the Department of Biology and a consultant and course co-instructor for Susan Friedman's Behavior Works LLC.

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Rick Hester has worked with the following zoos on behavior science principles, practices and ethical considerations:

  • Cameron Park Zoo
  • Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center
  • Healesville Sanctuary
  • Henry Doorly/Omaha Zoo
  • Melbourne, Zoo
  • Pueblo Zoo
  • Werribee Open Range Zoo


Rick Hester

Rick Hester
© 2023 Susan G. Friedman, Ph.D.