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Staff group photo at LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary

Meet the Team

A strong team looks after the welfare of our big cats and our guests.

Hildegard Pirker

Sanctuary Manager & Head of Animal Welfare Department

“Every day brings new opportunities to be caring, compassionate and kind”

Animal Guardian since 2007


Along with her team, Hildegard is responsible for the overall operations of LIONSROCK surrounding the care of around 100 rescued big cats – a job that calls for focus and dedication. 


She arrived with the first group of rescued lions from Austria in 2007 after the first newly built enclosures were ready to welcome them in their new forever home.


Her heart firmly rooted in animal welfare, she has since contributed to the development of LIONSROCK to what it is today, from defining animal husbandry standards, the training of the animal care taker team, expansion of the animal facilities to the development of guest activities and creating the volunteer program.

Christine Steyrer

Veterinarian / Animal Welfare Department

I am here to hopefully make an improvement for these big cats, to contribute to their wellbeing and quality of life.

Animal Guardian since 2020 

My work includes but is not limited to monitoring and treating our animals, as well as preventative care so our animals stay as healthy as possible given their circumstances and backgrounds. So some days would start with a vaccination and end with me inspecting feces as an example. 

Favorite animals: Every single one, so about 100 names plus dogs and horses