Candyce Paparo (b. January 3, 1977) is an American marine mammal trainer and the director of animal training at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead, New York.
Candyce oversees marine mammal trainers at the aquarium. The marine mammal staff takes care of true seals, sea lions, river otters, marmosets, Japanese Snow Monkeys, long tongue nectar bats and a prehensile-tailed porcupine.
Candyce grew up on a Connecticut farm, and always cared for animals. She was also fascinated by water and loved going to the beach with her parents.
After studying environmental biology at Southampton College – Long Island University, her passion for marine mammals further intensified when she interned as an assistant aquarist at Woods Hole Science Aquarium in Massachusetts.
She began working at the aquarium in 2000. Her first job was a naturalist aboard the atlantis explorer tour boat. Since then she has worked at the aquarium, directing sea lions to perform at the facility’s daily shows and preparing meals for all the animals.
Candyce and her team of eight trainers and assistants start their days at 7:00 am, examining over 100 pounds of fish, making sure it’s restaurant quality for the animals, who consume it up to four times a day.
A Day in the life of a trainer at the Long Island Aquarium