Zookeeper Week - Ryan Ball

Jul 25, 2015

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.

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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.”