When you’re at the Indianapolis Zoo often your first thoughts are of furry creatures and exciting exhibits – animals, not people. But the Zoo’s collection of animals wouldn’t exist without its remarkable keeper staff.
“Our Life Sciences staff – our “zookeepers” – are a remarkable group with a very special combination of skills, experience, and a deep personal commitment,” said Indianapolis Zoo President and CEO Mike Crowther. “Our curators, area managers, keepers, trainers, aquarists, and horticulturists are not only our nation’s best in terms of their professional abilities, but also in their caring and character. We are very fortunate to have them on our team!"
“I am also grateful to ALL of our staff, in ALL departments, for being part of the Indianapolis Zoo team. Our mission statement calls us to “empower people and communities, both locally and globally, to advance animal conservation,” and the whole team’s character, commitment, expertise, and effort are helping us create and maintain a world-class Zoo while contributing to a sustainable world for which future generations will be indebted.”
In honor of National Zookeeper Week we asked for insights and stories from some of the people who work here each and every day, providing care and comfort to our herds, pods, flocks and more. Those sentiments were summed up nicely by Marine Mammal Area Manager Stacey Green.
"What I enjoy most about being a zoo keeper is the time I spend interacting with our animals whether it’s through training or enrichment. It’s such an amazing feeling to see them complete a behavior you have trained them. It’s also fun to watch them watch you. For example when you ask them to do something and they refuse, the question that comes to mind is “who’s training who?” You can just see the wheels turning in the animal’s head – “How can I mess with them today?” It makes me feel privileged to be a part of their lives and to live the career so many people wish they could do.”
Make sure to thank our keepers if you see them on grounds while you’re at the Zoo this week! The animals you see are there because our zookeepers care.