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 Mandy S.

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

  • African Watering Hole/Polar Bear Watch
  • Rhino, zebra, sitatunga, leopard, polar bear, a variety of birds and tortoises

How long have you been working at the Zoo?

Almost 2 years

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

File our rhino’s horn — he does it himself on rocks/trees, but he seems to enjoy having us do it for him as well. It helps to build trust and strengthen our relationship. Sometimes he even dozes off.

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

  • Hiking with my dogs
  • Traveling
  • Socializing

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

Training! Particularly rhino and leopard training. It is very rewarding to see the positive impact that it has on their day-to-day lives and veterinary care.