Animal Keeper, Primates
Gladys Porter Zoo
Year zoo career began:
Jorge A Moya is a primate keeper at the Gladys Porter Zoo, where he works with a collection of primates including chimpanzees, orangutans, lemurs, gibbons, and spider monkeys. Jorge begins each day by doing rounds and checking on all the animals. After that, he talks to his supervisor and coworkers about any special projects they may have that day, which can include cutting grass in a yard, implementing special enrichment, or undergoing a medical procedure.
Jorge grew up in Los Fresnos, Texas, where his close location to the beach taught him to respect nature from an early age. He also lived very close to his local zoo, the Gladys Porter Zoo, and would frequent visit as a child. Jorge gained a lot of animal experience in high school when he raised livestock including rabbits and cattle. He also began volunteering at the Gladys Porter Zoo on Sundays and gradually began volunteering more frequently. He spent most of his time with the Galapagos tortoises and working with the zoo’s enrichment curator. He began working in his current position shortly after graduating from high school in 2019.
Jorge’s favorite part of his job is how unpredictable it is and how a day can change in a matter of seconds. He also enjoys working on a closely knit team and feeling like his coworkers are truly a second family. His advice to aspiring animal keepers is to get as much hands-on experience as you possibly can, and when times get hard remind yourself why you do what you do. Jorge’s favorite animal is the Dromedary Camel because he loves how all of their personalities are so different. Camels were the first animal that drew him into the zoo field and they will always have a special place in his heart.