Adam Felts

Photo of Adam with lion laying on rock in the background
Adam Felts
Curator, Heart of Africa and Asia Quest
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Adam has been working at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium since 1997. He began his full time career as a pachyderm keeper working with both African and Asian elephants and black rhinos. Between 2008 and 2013, he was promoted to Head Keeper and then to Assistant Curator of the Asia Quest/Pachyderm department assisting in managing the region’s collection, such as elephants, rhinos, sun bear, tigers, lions, ungulates, birds, and flying foxes. Adam played a vital role, as a Keeper/Head Keeper and Assistant Curator, managing Elephant Care Professionals’ training, elephant husbandry; elephant exercise programs, and the training of the elephants.  In 2013 he was promoted to the Assistant Curator of the new Heart of Africa Region, assisting with the opening of that area and then promoted to Curator of the Heart of Africa and Asia Quest Regions in late 2015. 

During the beginning of his career, he was a major contributor in the creation of the International Rhino Keeper Association and at its inspection was elected President and enjoyed organizing and planning the Biennial Rhino Keeper Workshops and other vital professional development opportunities for rhino keepers throughout the world. 

Adam holds a large number of roles in the zoo community as the Program Leader for AZA’s SAFE Asian Elephant Program, AZA’s Elephant Strategy Task Force, Vice SSP Coordinator for the Masia Giraffe and African Lion SSP, and is a member of several steering committees including Elephant Steering Committee, Antelope/Giraffe TAG Steering Committee, Rhino TAG steering committee, Giraffe SAFE Steering committee, Black Rhino SAFE steering committee and a board member of the Elephant Managers Association.