San Antonio Zoo
While San Antonio Zoo had to close its doors to guests to help stop the spread of COVID-19, our amazing Animal Care Team continued to ensure our animals received the care they needed.
By adopting a keeper, like Animal Care Specialist, Tanner, your gift helps provide resources to our Zoo Crew to continue their world-class animal care.
What made you want to be in this career field?
My original goal was to become a wildlife biologist working for a state conservation agency. However, while in college I took on an internship at a local zoo where I fell in love with the zoo’s conservation work and overall mission. I have always loved animals, especially reptiles and amphibians, and could not have picked a better career choice. As an Animal Care Specialist at San Antonio Zoo, I have the pleasure of educating guests about reptiles on a daily basis to ensure their species lives on forever.
What does your normal day look like?
My average workday is very fast-paced and includes an early arrival, checking on each animal under my care, cleaning exhibits, and most importantly, managing each animal’s daily diet. Although describing an average day in this field is hard since every day brings new adventures, we like to remind ourselves to be like a palm tree; bend but do not break.
What is the most memorable moment you have experienced at the zoo?
There are so many memorable highlights during my time at San Antonio Zoo. At the top of my list is the hatching of our Komodo dragon babies. It’s not every day you get to see that! I’ve also had the opportunity to be a part of checkups, which involves teaching our reptiles critical husbandry behaviors so that we can ensure they are healthy. Finally, I’ve been able to work with our king cobra. To most that might sound scary, but to me, it’s just another cool story to tell.
Your gift of $1,000 can provide access to our Animal Care Team to attend continued animal care trainings through courses offered at the yearly Association of Zoos and Aquariums Conference.
San Antonio Zoo’s Animal Care Team is always looking at ways to develop fun enrichment ideas for our animals. Your gift of $500 can provide enrichment items like balls, boxes, bags, and barrels for fun exploratory play.
Our Animal Care Team works daily to maintain and provide exhibits designed to be as compatible as possible to the animal’s natural environment. Your gift of $250 can provide crucial exhibit upgrades like lighting, natural horticulture, and landscaping.
Exhibit pools for animals like Timothy the hippo are cleaned frequently. Your gift of $100 can provide the necessary diving equipment like wetsuits, goggles, and boots to accomplish this task.
Some of the most common tools and resources can often be overlooked. Your gift of $50 can provide access to daily used items like hoses, shovels, and rakes.