David R. Blasko
David R. Blasko
David R. Blasko is currently Director of Animal Care at The Mirage Hotel & Casino.
as past Director of Animal Operations at Six Flags Marine World
, was responsible for all aspects of the care and husbandry for a diverse collection of more than 3,000 mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates of the land, sea and air.
Species in his
charge included African and Asian elephants, killer whales, bottlenose dolphins, Pacific walruses, California sea lions, Pacific harbor seals, Bengal tigers, mountain lions, primates, giraffes Magellanic penguins, hornbills, a variety of raptors, parrots and other birds, sharks, coral, warm- and cold-water fish and invertebrates, butterflies, white-throated monitor lizards and lesser anteaters, among others.
Blasko began his career at Sea World of Ohio, and came to the Six Flags Marine World park (then Marine World Africa USA) in 1982, serving as Elephant Training Supervisor for 20 years.
A respected consultant on elephant care, training and safety for other zoos, government agencies (USDA/APHIS, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, California Fish & Game, etc.), and to private owners, Blasko is past president of the national Elephant Managers Association and an instructor for the Principles of Elephant Management School of the American Zoo & Aquarium Association.
He served on the steering committee of the Asian and African Elephant Species Survival Program management group, helping preserve elephants in zoos and in the wild.
tenure at Marine World, Blasko
and the elephants in his
charge participated in groundbreaking efforts to establish and refine artificial insemination techniques and procedures for African elephants.
Scientific studies benefiting elephants in zoos and in the wild, including work with elephant foot care, dental care, ultrasonic communication, chemical communication, locomotion, DNA analysis, and pioneering veterinary care procedures including infrared light treatments were among Blasko's
cooperative research efforts at Six Flags Marine World
presented papers on elephant care at numerous Elephant Managers Association and American Zoo and Aquarium Association conferences.
Blasko is on the Board of Directors of The International Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums and a past board member of the International Elephant Foundation.
He is past president of the Elephant Managers Association and a professional member of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.
holds a Wildlife Law Enforcement certificate from the California Department of Fish & Game