Hometown: Huntsville, TX
Department: Carnivore Keeper
Quote: “Go big or go home”
How long have you worked at the Houston Zoo?: 8 years total. I spent 4 years in the Children’s Zoo and 4 years with Carnivores.
Favorite animal: Lion
Animals I train: Jonathan (Lion), Nimue (Lion), Kan Balam (Jaguar), Kiburi (cheetah), and I’m a second on the Maned wolves.
Training Fun Facts: Jonathan is very challenging because he is not food motivated at all! Kan Balam is very fun and smart. You can teach a new behavior very easily.
Favorite Story: One day while giving our Tiger keeper chat presentation, we lowered the door to find a night heron in the exhibit on the platform where the tigers usually participate. I had just told the crowd how tigers are top predators and very dangerous. At that time we had two males, Jammu and Pandu, on exhibit. When they came around the corner for the keeper chat, they were startled to find the night heron. The night heron spread its wings and squawked at the tigers. Our two 275 lb. tiger males proceeded to tuck tail and run towards their back area. Luckily we were able to shift both tigers inside and save the night heron.
What made you want to work at a zoo?: Ever since I was young, I’ve wanted to work at a zoo. It involves two things I enjoy the most, working with animals and being outside.
Education/training: Bachelors degree in Animal Science from Sam Houston State
Advice to anyone wanting to enter the your field: Volunteer as soon as you are able! That is the best way to get your foot in the door and make sure that this is what you want to do. Volunteering in different departments also helps you to choose what area you are most interested in.