May 30, 2016
Zookeeping, A Life’s Work
- as seen by -Timothy Mohl
Few people get to start their workday reuniting a family of mallard ducks that became separated, but this kind of event is what sometimes happens before I have the chance to put on my zookeeper uniform.
After the successful duck reconciliation, I feel like a hero as I walk into my “office” – the World of Birds kitchen at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo. Throughout my day, I have the opportunity to observe the behavior of many exotic species up close like the four-foot tall white-naped cranes native to parts of Asia, the bright red cock-of-the-rocks from South America, and the acrobatic Inca terns that fly the Pacific coast from Peru to Chile (above). I would have to trek hundreds of miles to get a glimpse of them in nature.
A day in my life as zookeeper can also include the duties of nutritionist, handyman, horticulturist, entomologist, maintainer, electrician, plumber, carpenter, problem solver, naturalist, conservationist, animal lover, record-keeper, parent, security guard, ambassador, researcher, biologist, and teacher.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
EDITOR’S NOTE: In July, watch for more zookeeper stories and activities during National Zookeeper Week July 16-24, 2016.
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