We need to show Becky 13 years worth of appreciation this National Zookeeper Week because she has worked here that long!
What kind of animals do you work with or what area?
Polar bear, raven, eagle, Arctic fox, chameleon, rhino, zebra, ostrich, leopards, African Aviary birds, tortoises, sitatungas, duiker.
How long have you been working at the zoo?
Since 2002 (13 years!)
What steps did you take in order to become an animal keeper?
I received a B.S. in small animal science and conservation from Delaware Valley College. Started working my sophomore year part-time at a small Zoo in PA to fulfill school’s work requirements. After graduating I applied everywhere and received a position in Baltimore!
What is something you do everyday for the animal that would surprise us?
- We do a lot of paperwork! (i.e. daily dairies, log sheets, reports)
- We are always coming up with new/fun enrichment items. A lot of the items we actually make ourselves.
What do you want the public to know about zookeeping?
It’s not an easy or glamorous job! It’s definitely not the job for everyone. We’re a very unique group of passionate, dedicated folks.
Why did you want to become a keeper?
I had originally wanted to become a vet, but in 1999 I met a black bear named “spooky” and I was hooked! From that day on I’ve been a keeper.
What hobbies/interests do you have outside of your zoo life?
Hanging out with my friends…or my dog!
What is your favorite part of a typical day at the zoo?
Training! This can also be the most frustrating part of the day, but for the most part it’s the most exciting. It’s awesome to watch the animals learn new behaviors and know that you helped them accomplish that.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Death of an animal. Luckily it does not happen often but when it does it’s VERY difficult. It’s hard not to get attached to the animals you see every day for years.
Where would you travel to see animals or what places have you traveled to?
- I’ve been to Churchhill, Manitoba to see wild polar bears (amazing!)
- I would love to go to Africa to see rhinos.