Dr. Melissa A. Kling received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1983 from the University of Georgia. She has been active in the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians since 2003 and served in various leadership roles to include executive director. She currently serves as treasurer and conference co-chair. Her first experience with grizzly bears was at the St. Louis Zoo where she completed a veterinary externship in 1982 and felt a connection with them she had not experienced with any other animals at the zoo. She learned of Vital Ground in 2003 when “Growing Up Grizzly” aired on television and has been a supporter ever since and currently serves on the Development Committee. Melissa resides in Macon, Georgia, with her husband and array of pets.