Senior Zoologist, Mammals
Year zoo career began:
Moses Pierre-Louis works as a senior zoologist at the Dallas Zoo where he works with large carnivores including African lions, Sumatran tigers, African painted dogs, cheetahs, and other species. His primary responsibility is to provide quality care for the animals he works with and to manage their immediate and long-term health by providing an environment where they can display all of their natural behaviors. He cleans and maintains their living spaces, makes diets, sets up and puts out enrichment, and trains animals as well. Moses really enjoys training, where he is able to communicate with them safely through a barrier to accomplish tasks that improve their health. He can take blood from a tiger for lab work, check inside their mouth to see if their teeth are healthy, and give them injections in their hips for vaccines or sedation. Moses also spends time doing chats with the public and answering their questions.
Moses had a passion for wildlife from a young age, which truly started when his mom got him his first pet cat. He also had doves as a child, which allowed him to see how genetics work firsthand by watching different groups of doves have offspring. Moses earned an Associate Degree in Zoo Animal Technology from Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo, which he believes gave him a solid foundation and a real exposure to the field. His animal experience includes volunteering at a bird rehabilitation center in New Jersey, volunteering at the Bronx Zoo reptile department, working as a driver at a spay/neuter clinic, working with primates at a pharmaceutical company, and working at another AZA zoo.
Moses’s favorite part of his job is when visitors get to see one of his animals up close or see them perform a natural behavior, because the person often reacts as if they saw literal magic happen before their eyes. He loves that he can see them develop a new love for wildlife. Moses would like to advice aspiring zookeepers to be flexible and be willing to work with any kind of animal. He would also like to remind other that the field involves a lot of interaction with people. Animals are the ambassadors for their species, but keepers are ambassadors for animals as a whole. A keeper’s interaction with a guest will impact how they feel about animals almost as strongly as their interaction with an animal, so keepers must make sure their interactions with visitors are memorable.