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Meet a Keeper: Cori Piper

How long have you worked at the Memphis Zoo?   
I’ve been here for about 4 ½ years. 

What is your educational background? 
I graduated from the University of Memphis with a BA in Anthropology. 

What interested you to pursue your current career path? 
I’ve always loved animals; learning about them, going to zoos, having pets. I also love being in the kitchen and creating new recipes, so now I get to do it for animals! 

Briefly describe what your typical day looks like?
It’s pretty much non-stop the entire day. First, I pull thawed fish for various animal areas to be delivered that morning. Then I work on what we call “dailies,” the daily diets for almost every exhibit and their animals. This means hundreds of pounds of fruits, vegetables, and meat are weighed, bagged, and packaged. Once “dailies” are completed, I usually work on restocking everything, organizing the cooler and freezer, bagging up items we use every day, and prepping produce for the next day. At the end of the day, I’ve usually been on my feet about 7 hours straight! But I love the fact that there’s always something to do. 

What is your favorite Zoo memory?
There are so many, but I’d say one of my favorites is when I get to toss ice treats to "Dante" and "Timmy," the gibbons in the CHINA exhibit. Whenever I walk up to them they perk up because they know we have something interesting. They’re such animated animals, and the otters are always entertaining, trying to steal the treats! 

What is your favorite animal (and why)?
Again, I have a lot! A couple of my favorites though, are "Kindalin," the wombat and "Peak," one of the Grizzly bear. I love how relaxed and chill Kindalin is and I’ve always had a fascination with marsupials. The first time I got to pet him, I was surprised at how soft his fur was. Peak is just breath-taking with his size, but I’ve heard him described as the perfect bear for captivity. He’s smart and powerful, but also very “lovable."  

Posted by Zoo Info at 2:30 PM

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