Nick Rich was raised up in the Pacific Northwest enjoying nature in all its facets. He had always dreamed of working with animals when he grew, this passion had him working with apes at the Oregon Zoo and eventually took him to America's Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College. Where he studied and received his degree in Exotic Animal Training and Management. With a solid foundation to pursue any avenue in the animal field, he began adding to his diverse background working all over the country with a huge variety of species. From student to animal trainer, documentary film work to educational presentations, zookeeper to director. Nick has gathered a considerable amount of knowledge on animal behavior out of the wild as well as their natural histories, visitor favorites and keeper necessities, along with medical and enrichment needs when putting together exhibit designs.
His beginnings with exhibit design started on a small scale while in college. He wanted the animals to have the best possible life while under his care, which started some simple over hauls of old out dated exhibits. Permanent enrichment incorporation and reptile exhibits. New furniture and water features. This form of enrichment began to blossom over the years as he began incorporating artificial elements to provide a naturalistic but durable and safe environment for the animals. Progress was slow as a non-artist, self taught designer, fabricator, and carver, but the results were there when endangered species felt comfortable enough to breed and thrive in newly renovated spaces. Formal training ensued as his need to perfect the craft became stronger. Fifteen years later his passion for providing animals with the best he could offer created an impressive carved concrete repertoire. Simple materials were taking the form of fractured granite boulders, dead or "living" trees, African kopje outcroppings, or realistic wood surfaces. The animals feel comfortable and at home in their simulated environments while visitors are immersed in an interactive experience.