Binder Park Zoo
Year zoo career began:
Amanda is an animal keeper at the Binder Park Zoo where she is primarily a primate keeper and works with black and white colobus monkeys, black mangabeys, and red-capped mangabeys. Amanda works with some non-primate animals as well, including red river hogs, marabou storks and an Aldabra tortoise. Every day, Amanda checks animals, gives medications, cleans and sets up exhibits, feeds animals, and trains individuals. In her small zoo, Amanda interacts with all her fellow animal keepers and veterinarian staff daily.
Amanda grew up in a large town right outside of a large city, and while she always wanted to work with animals, she had no working animal experience until she attended college at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In college, Amanda completed internships at several different animal facilities, including a humane society, a veterinary hospital, and a dog boarding facility. She also completed a semester abroad in Australia at the University of Melbourne, during which time she completed a research survey on bird populations in a designated forested area. Amanda began her zoo career with an internship in the fall of 2016 at the Brookfield Zoo. She then held various positions at Brookfield Zoo beginning in 2017, including seasonal positions in the primate department and family zoo/ ambassador animals department, and temporary keeper aide positions in the primate department, family zoo/ ambassador animals department, and mammals west department. In July 2021, Amanda accepted a permanent full-time position at the Binder Park Zoo.
Amanda’s favorite part of the job is forming bonds with animals under her care, learning more about the species through that bond and providing that information to guest and fellow animal specialist. Her favorite animal is the wolf, and she loved spending time working with wolves in a zoo setting.