Wild Animal Keeper- Mammals
WCS- Bronx Zoo
Year zoo career began:
Alexandra is a Wild Animal Keeper in the Mammal department for the Bronx Zoo. Although you can find her working with a variety of animals, she is frequently (and most passionately) working with Western Lowland Gorillas and Sea Lions! Some of her daily tasks include cleaning and maintaining exhibits, preparing diets for the animals, creating enrichment, and participating in training sessions (her favorite part).
In 2014, Alexandra earned her Degree in Biology with a Minor in Writing at Ithaca College. During her time at Ithaca College, she was able to get involved with the Aquatic Ecology Lab and did research on water invertebrates for 3 years. During her senior year, she was able to present her research at the IC Science Symposium. Between her junior and senior year, she was able to do her first animal internship as an Aquarist at Jenkinson’s Aquarium, which eventually led to her being hired the day after her college graduation!
Training is Alexandra’s favorite part of the job because it is motivating to watch an animal learn a new behavior, and you are able to learn a lot about yourself as a trainer. It also allows you to form a deeper bond and relationship with them, leading to a higher level of trust between the keeper and animal. Some advice she would like to pass along to others is to, “not be discouraged if you don’t get a paid position right away. Your time will come, and when it does, you’re going to have a greater appreciation for the field."