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Meet a Keeper: Fields Falcone

 How long have you worked at the Memphis Zoo?   
4.5 years (3 in Research, 1.5 in Animal Programs as a CHINA Keeper)  

What is your educational background?   
BS and MS in Biology, forest/avian ecology Master’s thesis   

What interested you to pursue your current career path?   
After a decade in conservation research, I decided I wanted to spend my day-to-day life involved in husbandry rather than data collection and analysis of wild and endangered animals. I don't regret the years in the field and in the lab, especially as it illuminates my current work, but I truly feel 'at home' as a Zookeeper.    

Briefly describe what your typical day looks like.  
In CHINA we start the day training our giant pandas, then feed and clean throughout the CHINA Exhibit. Early afternoon we make time for training and enrichment with our pandas, primates, hoofstock, etc. The closing process starts mid-afternoon, and it's typically a race against the clock. All day we feed and enrich the pandas - they have no set mealtimes but must eat all day long (when they aren't napping, of course)!   

What is your favorite Zoo memory?  
I have been so fortunate to be a part of a bird conservation project the Memphis Zoo has helped fund for many years. With (now retired) Curator Herb Roberts, I have been to the Mariana Islands each spring for 4 years with the MAC Program. I help capture and move native, rare birds from one island to another to avoid a non-native predatory snake, using skill sets from my previous life as a researcher as well as learning new ones. By far my best memory was riding in the helicopter with the birds and releasing them on their new, safe island. We flew over a recently active volcanic island on the return trip!   

What is your favorite animal (and why)?  
How can I choose between giant pandas and azure-winged magpies? Francois' langurs and our hog deer? It's the variety in CHINA that is so challenging and so endearing. Outside of work, I am a rescued dog lover and a birder. Wild birds have been a passion of mine since childhood - how they are integrated vertically and seemingly inextricably with their environment fascinates me.

Posted by Zoo Info at 3:30 PM

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