Biracial (Filipino/ Caucasian)
Animal Keeper, Reptiles
Year zoo career began:
Eddie Exconde is a reptile keeper at the Tulsa Zoo where he is the primary keeper for many species of turtles, tortoises, and lizards. His daily tasks include performing life checks, preparing diets, completing maintenance on exhibits, and covering for other keepers. Eddie is also the primary keeper for the Aldabra giant tortoises, and he monitors their breeding plans.
Eddie served in the United States Navy for five years after graduating from high school. Afterwards, he worked a few odd jobs for a few years before enrolling into a junior college and earning an associate degree in biology. Eddie transferred to another college and earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies. He worked as an unpaid intern at the Brookfield Zoo before accepting seasonal positions and keeper aide positions at Brookfield and then moving to his current position.
Eddie’s favorite part of his job is educating people about the wonderful world of reptiles. Reptiles tend to receive a negative reputation and Eddie likes to teach people that these creatures and more advanced and are important in their ecosystems. Eddie advises aspiring reptile keepers to keep your passion alive! It can be hard at times but remember why you want to be in this career. We don't do it for the money, we don't do it for the prestige. The animals in our care are ambassadors to their species. Zookeepers educate the public and ensure the survival of animals so we may share this planet with them for generations to come. If you're trying to get into this field, work harder than your peers. It is very competitive. Get a mentor you can lean on, never be afraid to ask for help.