valence

Ask a zookeeper

810 posts in this topic

As a result of the job satisfaction thread from awhile back, I received quite a few PMs about my job. I thought I would start a Friday thread with the intention of answering any other questions you all may have. You can ask me things unrelated to zoo keeping and animal training as well

Any other zoo keepers in the FFA that I don't know about?

Edited by valence

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Why can't I feed the animals?

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Have the monkeys ever thrown poo at you? And if so, did you like it? Did you throw some back?

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Why can't I feed the animals?

Depends on the animal. Many zoo's do have public feeds for some of their animals. From May - September, you can feed the Giraffes at my zoo.

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What's the nastiest job in a zoo?

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Why do the monkeys keep throwing things at me?

Usually they are bored or feel threatened. Great Apes are among the hardest animals to enrich as they are very intelligent and get bored easily.

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Ever watch the monkeys do it?

And did you ever take along a female zookeeper to watch them?

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What is the most underrated animal (based on observed behavior that the public probably wouldn't see)?

Most overrated? I always thought Gorillas were overrated. The ones at the Dallas zoo just sit there all day.

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Have the monkeys ever thrown poo at you? And if so, did you like it? Did you throw some back?

I've had fecal matter chucked at me by chimps, gorillas, and orangutans. I definitely didn't like it or throw it back. I've been peed on by squirrel monkeys. nasty little buggers. Edited by valence

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From May - September, you can feed the Giraffes at my zoo.

Do you provide ladders?

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Ever watch the monkeys do it?

I have seen several species of primates engage in mating behaviors.

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Has any of your animals ever given birth to offspring with human faces?

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Ever watch the monkeys do it?

I have seen several species of primates engage in mating behaviors.
The way you say it makes it sound so.....Sanitary. YUCK.

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Ever watch the monkeys do it?

And did you ever take along a female zookeeper to watch them?
I have observed the behavior with a female keeper. I'd say 75% or so of zookeepers are females. Unfortunately, most are really old or unattractive.

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What is the most underrated animal (based on observed behavior that the public probably wouldn't see)?Most overrated? I always thought Gorillas were overrated. The ones at the Dallas zoo just sit there all day.

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Can kangaroos really box?

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Why do the monkeys keep throwing things at me?

Usually they are bored or feel threatened. Great Apes are among the hardest animals to enrich as they are very intelligent and get bored easily.
:moneybag:

Yo! Little help, here?

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How did you start and then progress your career?

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Why do the monkeys keep throwing things at me?

Usually they are bored or feel threatened. Great Apes are among the hardest animals to enrich as they are very intelligent and get bored easily.
:moneybag:

Yo! Little help, here?

Interesting

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What is the most underrated animal (based on observed behavior that the public probably wouldn't see)?Most overrated? I always thought Gorillas were overrated. The ones at the Dallas zoo just sit there all day.

underrated: nocturnal animals. Not many zoos have nocturnal houses, but things like aye-ayes, tamanduas, galagos, bats, armadillos, etc are fascinating to watch in a well done night exhibit.Overrated: Lions and Tigers. Male Lions sleep upwards of 20 hours a day. If you get there super early, you can occasionally see some roaring and stalking behaviors, but they are few and far between. Gorillas are actually very interesting if it's a mixed group. If they are all geriatric then you probably won't see much. If they have a good mix of young and old in the troop then their complex social and political dynamics can be pretty interesting to watch.

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From May - September, you can feed the Giraffes at my zoo.

Do you provide ladders?
we do. you are on a platform about ten feet off the ground and just about head level with the giraffe.

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What's your favorite animal?

This is a tough question really, but I always enjoy working with bears, lemurs, and birds of prey - especially peregrine falcons.

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Has any of your animals ever given birth to offspring with human faces?

not that I am aware of, but when I was at the San Francisco zoo, someone was caught trying to molest a cow on free day. I have many, many free day stories.

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Have you ever thought that you can talk to the animals?

No, but training animals does involve a lot of "communication" between animal and trainer. I definitely feel that I have an "animal sense" in that I can read their body language and react in an appropriate manner.

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Ever watch the monkeys do it?

I have seen several species of primates engage in mating behaviors.
The way you say it makes it sound so.....Sanitary. YUCK.
monkey mating behaviors are pretty unsanitary.

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What's your favorite animal?

This is a tough question really, but I always enjoy working with bears, lemurs, and birds of prey - especially peregrine falcons.
Do you know this guy?

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If you get there super early, you can occasionally see some roaring and stalking behaviors, but they are few and far between.

I saw this at the zoo once. It was very cool.

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Awesome thread.

What's your best piece of animal trivia?

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What's the most dangerous animal to work with?

Dangerous is a relative term. any of the usual dangerous animals like big cats, bears, elephants, gorillas etc can be dangerous if you screw up (ie left a lock off a door) or someone else screwed up and didn't tell you, but little things like venemous snakes and insects and hurt you pretty bad too if you aren't paying attention to what you are doing.

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Can kangaroos really box?

Sure. Animals can be trained to do many different behaviors. I wouldn't recommend it though

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Should I bury my dead cat or eat him?

I'd probably just bury him Tipsy. I don't want him ending up in my spoonbread the next time I'm at Dante's

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