Shayna Maddalena: Rehabilitation & Research Associate
Shayna grew up in a suburban area about 45 minutes north of New York City. Her passion for
nature and animals began at a young age. She started horseback riding at age 5 and originally
planned on going into a career in equine rehab and therapy. During high school, Shayna
watched a documentary that highlighted how quickly species are going extinct due to human
activities and how we are currently living in the 6th mass extinction. This documentary, featuring
Jane Goodall and her chimps, truly inspired Shayna and opened her up to the world of wildlife
biology. Shayna ultimately decided that she wanted to help advocate for wildlife and
conservation efforts instead.
Shayna’s first experience working with wildlife included volunteering at Mission: Wolf in
Westcliffe, CO during a summer in high school. Mission: Wolf is a sanctuary that rescues
captive-born wolves and wolf-dog hybrids. This facility focuses on educating the public about
how essential wolves are to the ecosystem and how they should not be raised as pets. Shayna
received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for her time spent helping these wolves. In
addition, Shayna volunteered at the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, NY during her
senior year of high school where she acted as an assistant guide during the center’s educational
Shayna moved to Fort Collins to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Fish, Wildlife, and
Conservation Biology at Colorado State University. She started at the RMRP as an intern with
the rehabilitation team in May of 2021. Shayna graduated from CSU in December of 2021 and
joined the RMRP’s staff in May of 2022. Shayna’s responsibilities at the RMRP include helping
with the training and supervision of rehab volunteers and interns, performing necropsies,
medicating patients, food donation intake management, and flight and facility maintenance.
In her free time, Shayna enjoys going on hikes with her dog, camping, reading, horseback
riding, and just spending time outside with nature.