I originally started at the Memphis Zoo as a volunteer almost 34 years ago. I had been an x-ray technician before
having my two kids. I did not want to go back into that field when my kids were
ready to start to school. After talking to, then mammal curator, Chuck Brady
and finding that I could work alongside of keepers, I eagerly started in the
giraffe run. I went home filthy and sweaty but madly in love with the job!
After a year of working in the giraffe area and the old children’s petting zoo,
I was offered a temporary position on the overnight shift taking care of a baby
gorilla named "Kwashi." I was in heaven!! A position came open at the
end of that shift, and I was hired as a full time keeper in giraffes.
After 5 and a half years of
working various areas and hand-raising an assortment of baby animals including
an orangutan, aardwolves and cape hunting dogs, I took a position at the Miami
Metrozoo. I worked with a wide variety of animals there including Indian
rhinos, brown bears and sloth bears, gaur, primates, and even got to work with
koalas. It was great, but Miami was never home! After Hurricane Andrew I
decided to come home and just had my 21st anniversary this time around.
This job has fulfilled my
passion for animals like no other job ever could.
My education is simple. I had
a year of college at what was then Memphis State University (now U of M) and
completed a 2 year course in radiologic technology and passed my registry exam.
I worked there another 5 and a half years until I had my first child. I read
everything I can get my hands on animal-wise, but experience has taught me more
than any book ever could.
cannot imagine getting up in the morning and not having these animals to come
in to care for and love.