My name is Carol Maier. I am the CEO of International Bug Zoos Inc. I trademarked and started developing the “Bug Zoo™” concept in 1997. My science degree is technically “entomology/apiculture” with a minor in International Agriculture. I was born on a farm! I started my career working in commercial beekeeping after achieving a diploma from Fairview college in northern Alberta. From there I became the Apiary inspector in southern Alberta For a few years in the 1980’s.
I love ALL animals but I have a special place in my heart for “bugs”, especially giant tropical insects and arachnids My avocation is to help show the general public how interesting and important these mis-understood animals are and to help protect natural habitats for all animals.
I started the Victoria Bug Zoo in 1997 in downtown Victoria, BC Canada. I was the owner/operator until I sold the Victoria zoo in May 2014. As you can imagine, over the years I learned a lot about a lot of things as the owner of a busy educational tourist attraction. Thousands of tourists, school groups and local residents discovered and supported the Bug Zoo. And, of course, like any entrepreneur will say “I made all the mistakes”. But the concept was/is extremely successful and eventually that business entity in Victoria was operating on its own with an extremely good reputation. After basically ” doing everything ” for so many years it was time to sell. I took some time off but have continued to work on different ways to stay involved in business and entomology.
The Victoria location continues to operate under a limited licensing agreement by the Chin family. I have not been involved in the Victoria Zoo since I sold it. Proof of concept has been met. I developed a formula that works. I changed the hearts and minds of thousands of people. People would go from “yuck to wow” and often times come back again and again. The question I continue to ask how I can continue this work, but on a much bigger scale because I strongly believe that the world needs more Bug Zoos.
My goal now is to work “on” my business, not “in” the business. I am researching and developing the concept so that multiple locations can be opened across Canada and the US, and potentially any where/every where in the world. After spending 20 years “doing everything in the business from HR/payroll to training and taking care of the bugs” i can truly say that I understand the business extremely well I have the proverbial “recipe”. I could open another Bug Zoo in my sleep but that would an inefficient use of my skills and time. I want to help others build and operate successful Bug Zoos.
I also plan to build a Bug Zoo training center in a jungle location through a not-for-profit foundation. The mission is to educate and train future entomologists in a “living lab”.
If you are interested in participating I would love to hear from you. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with some info about yourself and what you are interested in doing to get involved. Include your phone number and good time to call.
Thank you! ….and for the bugs!