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After 25 years of serving the Placer County region, Gold Country Wildlife Rescue (GCWR) has hired their first ever Executive Director to lead the non-profit organization.

Dr. Matthew Holdgate joined GCWR last month, bringing with him diverse experiences from zoos, nature centers, and various non-profits.  Dr. Holdgate was the Executive Director of the New York State Zoo in Watertown, NY, and the Navajo Zoo in Window Rock, Arizona.  He has also worked in South Lake Tahoe for the U.S. Forest Service and the League to Save Lake Tahoe.  Last year he earned his Ph.D. in Biology from Portland State University, where he studied zoo animal welfare and tracked elephants using GPS-equipped anklets.

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“I am so thrilled to return to California and contribute to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of native wildlife” said Dr. Holdgate.  “Community members brought over 3,000 animals to our Wildlife Intake Center last year alone; it’s clear that the people of Placer County are ready and willing to give these little lives a second chance.”

Sallysue Stein, President of the Board of Directors and founder of Gold Country Wildlife Rescue expressed her enthusiasm for Dr. Holdgate’s hiring.  “Matthew has shown a lifelong commitment to the protection and preservation of wildlife,” said Stein.  “His background in animal welfare will ensure that our animals continue to receive the highest level of care, and his experience as a non-profit director means he will bring leadership and a fresh perspective as we celebrate 25 years of service to the community.”

Dr. Holdgate also teaches biology and anatomy classes at Sierra College, and is a scientific advisor for the KOTA Foundation, an elephant conservation non-profit.  He lives in Roseville with his wife, Gina Tarbill, who is a U.S. Forest Service fellow and Ph.D. student at UC-Davis.
About Gold Country Wildlife Rescue: We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of injured and orphaned wildlife.  We are permitted by the California Department of Fish & Wildlife and the US Fish & Wildlife Service.  We have been serving the local community for 25 years, and do so at no charge. 

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