ORONTO, ON: Your Toronto Zoo is thrilled to announce Dolf DeJong, CEO, and Dr. Gabriela Mastromonaco, Senior Director of Wildlife Science at your Toronto Zoo have made it on the inaugural Blooloop Zoo & Aquarium Top 50 Influencer list, 2022. This list celebrates the work of 50 key individuals whose creativity, passion and drive has helped shape and improve the attractions industry.

Dr. Gabriela Mastromonaco also made it into “The Power 10” top 10 influencers on the list. As the only zoo-based reproductive scientist in Canada, she is an inspiration to female scientists around the world. Dr. Mastromonaco’s dedicated leadership of your Toronto Zoo’s Reproductive Sciences team has resulted in many world firsts including wood bison calves born from sperm frozen for 35 years and from an in vitro fertilized and frozen-thawed embryo.

In 2021, she led another conservation science first when the Toronto Zoo’s Reproductive Sciences team alongside researchers from the University of Saskatchewan partnered with Sexing Technologies to use highly sensitive equipment capable of sorting x- from y-bearing sperm in hopes of producing female calves, an important step forward for the long-term sustainability of bison conservation herds.

Reproductive technologies, such as artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization, are important tools for improving the genetic management and connectivity of small populations. These techniques will help Canada overcome the challenges of managing the endemic disease threatening free-ranging wood bison herds, and ultimately allow us to restore genetically diverse disease-free herds in the wild.



We are passionately committed to advancing conservation science at the Toronto Zoo and globally, especially with our natural world undergoing such rapid and drastic changes” says Dr. Mastromonaco. “We are focusing on strengthening the connections between diverse scientific disciplines as a necessary step towards improving the future for all living things, and it is wonderful to know this innovative work is being celebrated!”.


Having started his role as CEO in 2018, Dolf DeJong immediately began focusing on increasing the Toronto Zoo’s connection with the community, and finding innovative ways to connect people, animals and conservation science to help fight extinction. In early 2022,  the Toronto Zoo’s Master Plan was approved which represents the vision for the role of the Toronto Zoo over the next 25 years. The Plan was guided by five strategic priorities  from the 2020 Strategic Plan which are saving wildlife, igniting the passion, delivering exceptional guest experiences, serving the community and revolutionizing zoo technology.
It’s always amazing to receive external recognition that the work we are doing is resonating with people” says Dolf DeJong. “We have over a million visitors come through our doors every year and an important part of our mission is to educate and inspire people to understand the plight many of these species are facing in the wild, and really drive awareness about the small changes they can make in their day to day lives which can lead to big impact in our mission to fight extinction”.

To learn more about the amazing work going on at your Toronto Zoo, click here.

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