Guest Naturalist - Dr. Owen Slater

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Our Guest Naturalist - Dr. Owen Slater

Owen has had a passion for wildlife all his life and his career path has been shaped by his fascination with the natural world. 

After graduating from the University of Guelph with a BSc in 2000, he took a job at a wildlife centre in the Muskoka's.  There he tended to the countless native wild animals brought into the centre, including black bears, wolves, and most memorably a one week old river otter that he successfully raised and released back into the wild. 

Prior to gaining acceptance to the Ontario Veterinary College, Owen set out on a six month backpacking trip to East Africa. While there he applied his wildlife skills by volunteering at the Jane Goodall Institute in Uganda, where his primary task was to care for an orphaned chimpanzee.  He also spent time working with an elephant researcher and accompanying a National Geographic photographer documenting the plight of elephants in Kenya. 

After completing his veterinary degree, Owen worked as a zoo veterinarian at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago and the Calgary Zoo. During this time he returned to Africa each year as a veterinary instructor for a great ape conservation organization and worked with many endangered species recovery programs that included red wolves, Guam rail, Micronesian kingfisher, Vancouver Island marmots, Whooping crane and several others.

Owen has travelled and lived in many regions of the world. As his reputation grows he finds he's dedicating more and more time for personalized guiding experiences and leads numerous private wildlife tours to the Canadian Rockies. He is always keen to share his wildlife knowledge and experiences with others and is an avid wildlife photographer and writer (Owen Slater Photography).

Owen is an instructor in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary where he teaches wildlife veterinary medicine. He also consults for Parks Canada, the BC and Alberta provincial governments and other wildlife based organizations. Most recently, he has been involved in mountain caribou, bighorn sheep and grizzly bear projects. He is also a professional wildlife photographer and has traveled to many remote locations in North and Central America, Africa and Australia to work with, study and photograph wildlife. This will be his third year guiding with Classic Canadian Tours and he is thrilled to share his knowledge and passion for wildlife and photography with tour participants.