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National Zoo Keeper Week 2018 – Meet Barb Campbell

It’s National Zoo Keeper Week and we’re sharing the love! To recognize the dedication and hard work of our amazing zookeepers, we are posting an interview of a keeper each day this week. Meet Barb Campbell, a dedicated zoo keeper whose career has spanned 34 years at the Calgary Zoo – and that’s just as a keeper!

She’s seen it all, from tiger cubs, the arrival of giant pandas, and the 2013 flood.

Meet the Zookeeper: Barb Campbell

Q: When did you start working as a zoo keeper for the Calgary Zoo?

A: “I started at the Calgary Zoo back in 1979. I got on to Animal Care after University in 1984, so I’ve been here since then. People always ask what is the highlight of my career and you always say ‘wow, 35 years, what can you say!?’ Every day is a highlight; it is my dream career and I’ve enjoyed every day of it.”

Q: What’s your favourite animal to work with?

A: “People always ask me ‘what is the highlight, what is your favourite animal?’ And you know what, in all honesty, I have a hard time with that. There have so many highlights in my career – I was here for the first baby gorilla births years and years ago. The tigers, oh my goodness, we had tiger cubs a few years ago! We have red panda cubs every year, and now we have giant pandas at the zoo!”

Q: What’s is the best part of your day?

A: “What is my favourite thing at the zoo? Well when I get up in the morning, because I’m Lead Keeper, I have a lot of staff that I work with every day. The passion for animals that the staff here have is fantastic, so it’s really cool because everyone is here with one goal, and that’s the animals.”

Q: How would you describe being a zoo keeper in three words?

A: “It’s a privilege.”


Thank you for joining us for National Zoo Keeper Week 2018! Check out our blog to see videos of a different zookeeper each day from July 15-21, 2018.

The support of our community makes possible our critical work protecting wildlife and wild places. Your trip to the Calgary Zoo helps us sustain wildlife and wild places. Visit today and learn more about the work of the Centre for Conservation Research at the Calgary Zoo.

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