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Shedd Fishes staff Michael Yuratovac sits amid the lush greenery of the Amazon Rising exhibit.

Michael Yuratovac

Supervisor, Fishes Department

Michael Yuratovac is a supervisor in the Fishes department, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Amazon Rising exhibit.


B.S., biology, Purdue University Northwest

“I love the hidden complexity of animals. Mimic poison dart frogs exhibit high-level biparental care and are lifelong monogamists—pretty impressive for a frog no bigger than your thumbnail!”

In addition to his supervisory responsibilities, Michael Yuratovac is the primary caretaker of Amazon Rising’s focus exhibits, which spotlight poison dart frogs, an emerald tree boa, a Surinam toad and other smaller species native to the earth’s largest rainforest. He is passionate about creating realistic habitats that highlight animals’ natural behaviors. He has been a part of many successful breeding projects, including for fringed leaf frogs, poison dart frogs and caiman lizards.

Yuratovac has been at Shedd his entire career. Starting as a volunteer in the Fishes department in 1999, he served an internship in Amazon Rising in 2000, the exhibit’s inaugural year. Hired as a full-time aquarist in 2001, he has continued to work in the immersive floodplain exhibit, moving into his current position as supervisor in 2018.