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Meet a Keeper: Thomas Reid

How long have you worked at the Memphis Zoo?
I have been working at the Memphis Zoo two years.  

What is your educational background?
I have a Bachelors of Science in Biology with minor in Anthropology from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC.   

What interested you to pursue your current career path?
I have always wanted to work with animals. After wanting to be a marine biologist in the 6th grade then coming to the realization that I probably should learn to swim, which I never did, my interest changed to land based. My love for elephants developed after a zookeeper by the name of Joey Ratliff at Audubon Zoo stated by the end of my internship there my favorite animal would be elephants. By the end of that internship indeed elephants were my favorite and I stronger pursed a career working with elephants.    

Briefly describe what your typical day looks like.
Feeding, caring, training and enriching three female African elephants is the typical day. As well care and feeding of bongos, gazelle and ostriches. Much of that is cleaning with huge reward of standing beside the largest land animal.       

What is your favorite Zoo memory?
My favorite Zoo memory involves the late "Tombi" rhino. She and I had what I called "Tombi and Thomas" time. If I was there on the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for her keeper chat, I always loved to do them. One of my favorite zoo memories was during my first summer; it was pretty warm outside and during the keeper chat, Tombi always came over to get scratched. She came over and got scratched as normal and then she went over and wallowed in her mud quite funny and covered in mud she returned back over to be scratched some more.     

What is your favorite animal (and why)?
"Tyranza" aka "Ty" (elephant) is my favorite animal. It is hard to explain but it something that has developed over the past year. Much of it has to do with working with her on a new behavior and seeing how it has progressed over the couple of months I have worked with her on it. 

Posted by Zoo Info at 10:30 AM

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