Schooling: Associate Degree in Science
Official Title: Senior Keeper
How long have you been with the Zoo? 13 years
1. Which department do you work for at the Zoo? Living Collections Department- Hoofstock Trail
2. What is the first thing you do when you get to the Zoo in the morning? Change into my Zoo shoes. I load up the cart with the animal’s diets for the day and read the previous days reports. Once I leave the back of the Zoo I start the morning checks of the animals I am working with for the day. We make sure all the animals are behaving normally, are bright and alert. If any of the animals are on medication I would administer it at that time.
3. What is our Phoenix Zoo rhino like? Half Ear is an amazing rhino. She is smart and likes to make keepers work to get to know her. She is protective when she needs to be and laid back when you least expect it.
4. What is your favorite memory working at the Phoenix Zoo? I have worked at the Zoo a long time and have many favorite memories. One of my first memories is of meeting Khetla the rhino. That encounter is what convinced me to become a zookeeper instead of a field biologist. I was lucky enough to work as his primary keeper for 2 years. During his last 6 months he was battling cancer. I spent 7 hours a day with him, and there were days he would only shift (move from outside into his nighthouse) for me, which is a bittersweet memory. One of my favorite memories is of getting to watch the bond that Half Ear and Notch shared. I have worked with ungulates (rhinos) since I can remember, and their bond was stronger than any I have ever seen. I cherish being able to watch animals’ relationships with each other, and watch the unique bonds some keepers are lucky enough to develop with some of the animals in their care.