July 25, 2015 Calgary Zoo

Zookeeper Week – Ryan Ball


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. Ryan followed his passion for science to a position here at the zoo.

Meet the Zookeeper: Ryan Ball

Q: How did you become a zookeeper?

A: “I was finishing my business degree when I realized that it wasn’t for me, and that I needed to do something more personally meaningful. I chose to pursue my love of science, and of animals, so I buzzed through a zoology degree as I completed the business side of my education. To combine the demands of business and to pursue zoology, I started an aquarium business to get me through. Who knew that in a couple of years after my zoology degree was completed, the Calgary Zoo would be hiring and in need of someone with aquarium knowledge. I jumped at the opportunity and here I am five years later!”

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

A: “I started on December 1, 2010- that date will be marked in my mind for a long time. I started the position as quick as I could- I think my job interview was on a Thursday and my first day was the following Monday… ”

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

A: “It always changes depending on what section of the zoo I’m working in at the time. Right now it’s currently the Amur tigers, because through working with them, I have been able to achieve some personal goals of mine, including advancing my training and animal behavioural science skills. One animal that I am really fond of that might seem surprising is a little Japanese Serow named Lily.”

Q: What’s your favourite part of being a zookeeper?

A: “Going home with a smile every day.”


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