Wild Animal Keeper
WCS- New York Aquarium
Year zoo career began:
Jasmine is the first African-American Wild Animal Keeper at the New York Aquarium where her days are a mix of clerical work, exhibit maintenance, and feeding animals. She checks on the animals at least twice a day, dedicates time to feeding and training them to do various behaviors that are conducive for their overall health and well-being, and keeps detailed records of their training sessions to note changes in their behavior. Her favorite parts of her job are working with the animals and talking to people about what she does and inspiring them to love and want to protect the animals. Jasmine also gets to train sharks, and the sharks all have different personalities that the animal care staff has to adapt to in their training.
Jasmine graduated from high school in 2012 before going on to attain a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology with a minor in Business Management. Before her current position, Jasmine spent time volunteering with various animal departments and worked in Florida as a Water Quality Technician/ Marine Mammal Specialist.
Jasmine’s favorite animal is sea otters because she loves their adorably charismatic personality and resourcefulness. Her favorite animal to work with is a Zebra Shark, partly because he’s also adorable but also because he presents unique challenges that help Jasmine develop into a better trainer. Jasmine’s advice for aspiring professionals is to volunteer and intern at animal care facilities to get your foot in the door. This field is relatively small; networking and forming those connections will be crucial for your career. Whatever you aspire to do, wherever you aspire to be, go easy on yourself. Strive to work hard, but make sure you take the time to enjoy where you're at, just as you enjoy reaching the destination.