Black- Indigenous (Nanticoke Tribe)
Animal Keeper, Carnivores
Reid Park Zoo
Year zoo career began:
Toni is a carnivore zookeeper at Reid Park Zoo where she currently works with lions, grizzly bears, jaguars, and some primates, including ring tailed lemurs and white handed gibbons. Her daily tasks include cleaning animal exhibits, feeding animals, completing training sessions, creating and installing enrichment, observing the animals, and working on professional development. Toni loves the excitement of working with carnivores because they are such beautiful and dangerous animals, and it allows her to hone her skill sets that can be the difference between life or death. Some of Toni’s favorite animals are actually reptiles- she loves the meticulousness of working with them and that each reptile has different requirements.
Toni grew up outside of Philadelphia in Deptford, New Jersey, and studied animal science at Rutgers University from 2010 to 2014. In 2012, she began her first zoo internship at the Brandywine Zoo where she was a camp counselor in their zoo camp. After graduating, Toni began interning and doing education outreach at the Philadelphia Zoo, and over the next three years she worked her way up to becoming a seasonal keeper. She began her first full time position at the Gulf World Marine Park in 2017 where she worked with parrots and reptiles and refined her training skills. When Hurricane Michael hit, her apartment was destroyed, and she moved for a year to the Dominican Republic. She came back to the United States with a job at a New York facility before getting hired at Reid Park Zoo in 2020.