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Meet a Keeper: Dena Mendino

How long have you worked at the Memphis Zoo?
28 years and volunteered for 2 years. Before being hired by the city, I worked at the Memphis Animal Shelter for 2 years.   

What is your educational background?
High school and some college   

What interested you to pursue your current career path?
I had a love of animals, which we all do, so I volunteered in the bird department and I was hooked.          

Briefly describe what your typical day looks like?
Start at hippos and get the pools draining. Set up their area for the day. I go to the round barn and check on everybody. Feed all, clean all, do enrichment here and there. Feed again in the afternoon. Go back to hippos to check on them and feed them melons. End of day!       

What is your favorite Zoo memory?
So many! I think it was when I got to sit with the baby orangutan. That was very special to me, he was so amazing. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Just  being here and meeting so many animals along the way from primate to large and small hoof-stock has always been wonderful. I can't leave out all the cold blooded creatures. They always make me go wide eyed in amazement. All the fuzzes I have the pleasure of meeting are super cool and loving animals. The rats in education are my favorite.  I can't forget my beginnings with all the beautiful birds I have had the pleasure of just knowing or helped bring into this world. I have a plethora of amazing memories that I will carry with me always.          

What is your favorite animal (and why)?
I really do not have a favorite animal, I love them all. They're all very special and unique, and I truly enjoy my time with all of them.       

Posted by Zoo Info at 10:30 AM