They’re some of the most hardworking, dedicated and passionate people you’ll meet. It’s National Zookeeper Appreciation Week and we’re celebrating the amazing work our zookeepers do for wildlife every day. The Maryland Zoo is fortunate to have expert teams of animal professionals focused on the care of more than 200 species big and small. We’re so grateful for their knowledge, expertise and commitment which continues to advance animal husbandry and wildlife conservation here and around the globe.

This year, National Zookeeper Week is July 17th through the 23rd. Each day we’ll share new keeper profiles and introduce you to the people making a difference for animals at the Maryland Zoo.

Meet Dani B.

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

Primates — Chimp Forest team

How long have you been working at the Zoo?

6 years

What is something you do everyday for the animals that would surprise us?

I look at chimp bottoms.

We rate our females’ swellings/menstrual and ovulation cycles by evaluating the size of their labial folds and tumescence — used to track pregnancy or reproductive concerns.

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

Sports — I play soccer and lacrosse.

Reading in foreign languages — moderately fluent in French; beginner in Russian

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

Project time — I enjoy exhibit design, the chance to use power tools and exercise my creativity by creating new exhibit furniture and enrichment that’s physically engaging and challenging.