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Meet your Instructors

Head Veterinarian and Academic Director of Loop Abroad

Erica Ward, DVM

Dr. Erica is an elephant veterinarian and serves as the Head Veterinarian at Loop Abroad and an adjunct professor at the University of Findlay in Ohio. As a child, she was never far from animals and started riding horses when she was four years old. She has worked at a world-renowned elephant sanctuary in Thailand as well as taught Loop Abroad travel programs in Australia, Thailand, South Africa, Panama, and Costa Rica. Dr Erica earned her DVM at Michigan State University.

Veterinary Instructor

Kristina Perez, DVM

Dr. Kristina Perez is thrilled to be a full-time Veterinarian Instructor with Loop Abroad in Thailand! In veterinary school, she interned at a wildlife rehabilitation center and completed externships at two prominent conservation research and breeding centers. Since then, Dr. Kristina completed a rotating internship in small animal (dog and cat) emergency and specialty care and a specialty internship in exotic animal medicine. She has spent time volunteering in Indonesian, Borneo, and Vietnam and feels honored to have worked with elephants, parrots, highly-endangered frogs, gerenuk, kude, pangolins, red pandas, maned wolves, cheetahs and more! Dr Kristina earned her DVM at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.

Exotics Veterinarian

Jorge Mercado, DVM

Dr. Jorge Mercado is a wildlife veterinarian from Mexico working at the Belize Raptor Center. He comes to us with various zoo and wildlife experience, including focused studies on lions, tigers, and birds such as blue-footed bobbies, pelicans, and raptors. Dr Mercado graduated from The National Autonomous University of Mexico School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry (UNAM), the most prestigious veterinary school in Latin America.