It’s National Zoo Keeper Week and we’re sharing the love! To recognize the dedication and hard work of our amazing zoo keepers, we are posting an interview of a keeper each day this week. Meet Mona Keith, a lead keeper at the Calgary Zoo who has a passion for animals that inspires anyone who talks to her.
Meet the Zookeeper: Mona Keith
Q: How did you become a zoo keeper?
A: “I graduated from University with a BSc in Zoology, not really knowing what kind of job I would end up with. I applied for a summer zoo labourer postion at the Calgary Zoo during my first summer out of University. I thought at first that it may just be a job until I figured out what I really wanted to do.”
Q: When did you start working as a zoo keeper for the Calgary Zoo?
A: “That was over 35 years ago! I started my zoo keeping career at the zoo in 1982 – but don’t tell anyone. Ha!”
Q: What’s your favourite animal to work with?
A: “I really can’t pick a favourite. Each species is so unique, and I love the variety they bring to my day.”
Q: What’s a great zoo keeping story that you can share with us?
A: “Early in my career I had the opportunity to hand-raise two red panda cubs. It was one of the most rewarding experience I have ever had. They needed to be bottle feed every four hours around the clock for weeks. I didn’t get much sleep, but being tired isn’t the memory I brought away from the experience – I helped two members of an endangered species live.”
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.