Next time you’re visiting our penguins, be sure to say hi to perhaps our biggest penguin fan, interpreter Margie Woo.
Over the years, Margie has worked with many of the animals at the zoo, including the gorillas. When the penguins arrived, she was happy to move over to Penguin Plunge and learn all she could about these adorable waddlers.
“Now”, said Margie, “I’m a total penguin addict. I live and breathe penguins, and when I have to be away from them I get withdrawal.”
Margie’s friendly attitude and willingness to share facts about her beloved penguins has made her popular with regular zoo visitors, and this year she was honoured with a 2013 White Hat Award for exceptional customer service.
To help you to get to know Margie better, we asked her these questions:
Q: Who’s the most interesting person you’ve ever met?
A: “At the University of Saskatchewan I met Mr. Dressup. I’d always been a huge fan, and when I heard he was coming, I thought ‘this is someone I have to see’.”
Q: Where in the world would you most like to visit?
A: “I would like to go back to China and Hong Kong with my family. My parents came over to Canada before I was born, and my father hasn’t been back since. When I was about eight he saved up and sent the rest of the family there for a visit, but I was a little too young to really appreciate it. I would love to go back with my family and connect with the place where my parents grew up.”
Q: What has been the most life-changing experience for you?
A: “I visited Kenya, Tanzania, Peru and Ecuador as a trip leader for the zoo. It was an amazing experience, and I was greatly impacted by how these people have so little and yet still have the biggest smiles. I am still inspired by the joy and love they live with.”
Q: What is your favourite animal at the zoo?
A: “The penguins of course! If I had to pick something other than penguins I would probably say the gorillas. I used to work with them, and when I manage to get back for a visit I’m pretty sure that Dossi still recognizes me.”
Q: What is the thing you haven’t done yet that you most want to?
A: “I would love to go and see the king penguins in their natural habitat. I want to be surrounded by them, and experience the noise and the smells that everyone tells me about.”
Q: What do you love most about the zoo?
A: “It might sound like a cliché but I love to work with so many people who are so passionate about what they do. The zoo really is a family and everyone supports everyone else.”
Margie loves the penguins and we’re sure you will too! Check out one of our penguin programs to see them up close!
We’ve introduced this “Who’s who at the zoo” series so that you can better get to know the amazing people you encounter when you visit the Calgary Zoo. Check back next week for the second installment of the series.