In this keeper spotlight you’ll meet a keeper who started our as a teen in our Junior Zoo Crew and worked his way up.

What kind of animals do you work with or what area?

African hoofstock, carnivores, and farm animals.

How long have you been working at the zoo?

I’ve been working at the Zoo for 4 years and I volunteered for a while before that.

What steps did you take in order to become an animal keeper?

Lots of hard work and volunteering for a few years beforehand. I started in the Junior Zoo Crew program and worked my way up.

What do you want the public to know about zookeeping?

Zookeeping is a career of passion. It is a calling for most people and it takes a lot of work. Zookeepers push themselves every day physically, mentally and emotionally. Not one keeper will ever say it’s not worth the effort.

Why did you want to become a keeper?

I’ve always wanted to work with animals. I was just lucky to hear about the volunteer program.

What hobbies/interests do you have outside of your zoo life?

I really enjoy the outdoors. I love to hike, camp, and kayak as often as possible.

What is your favorite part of a typical day at the zoo?

My favorite part of any day is getting the chance to teach people about animals and nature in general.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

On any given day the most challenging part is time management, it gets hard to find time to complete all the tasks I have planned.

Where would you travel to see animals, or what places have you traveled to?

I would love to travel to Yellowstone or Alaska to see the wildlife.

What do you think is the most important reason to support the zoo?

Education is one of the most important things a Zoo offers. For many, I would say that it is the most important reason to support the Zoo. Coming to the Zoo and seeing these animals in person helps people to care about not only that animal but that species. Overall it leads to a better appreciation of nature.