Brush Country Keeper- Tx Wild!
Fort Worth Zoo
Year zoo career began:
Micaela Muniz is a Brush Country Keeper at the Fort Worth Zoo where she is responsible for the care of species native to the Texas brush areas, or arroyos and surrounding land. These animals include ringtail cats, white nosed coatis, bobcats, ocelots, mountain lions, coyotes, and jaguars. Micaela is the primary trainer for the zoo’s mountain lions, bobcats, and jaguars. During the summer, Micaela also helps lead tours of the behind the scenes areas for high school students participating in career camps and she answers any questions relating to training, enrichment, and general animal care.
Micaela graduated from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology with a bachelor’s degree in biology with an emphasis in pre-veterinary medicine. She intended to go to veterinary school and become an exotic animal vet, but during her employment at a veterinary hospital she became very interested in animal behavior and how it related to animal health and care. Micaela began an internship at the Denver Zoo in the behavioral husbandry department where she fell in love with the zoo field. She was hired in the Denver Zoo’s education department as a bilingual education specialist while also interning without pay in the large mammal section of the zoo. In 2012, Micaela was hired as a farm keeper at the Fort Worth Zoo. In 2015, Micaela became a swing keeper for the TX Wild area and in 2016 Micaela moved to her current position.
Micaela’s favorite part of her job is training, as nothing is more exciting to her than when an animal has a “lightbulb” moment. Training allows keepers to form a lasting bond with their animals, facilitates the best possible care for an animal, and provides a vehicle to talk with guests. Micaela’s favorite animal is the jaguar because they are powerful and elegant while also being smart and adaptive. Micaela’s advice to aspiring animal professionals is to never lose your passion!