Henry Vilas Zoo
Year zoo career began:
Taylor Woods is a zoo keeper at the Henry Vilas Zoo where she works primarily with bison, giraffe, camels, Somali wild ass, and North American porcupines. Taylor also occasionally helps care for lemurs, red panda, aardvark, gibbons, meerkats, rhinos, and the children’s zoo. She is responsible for feeding, medicating, cleaning up after, and enriching the animals in her care each day.
Taylor graduated from Kenyon College in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish. She volunteered at the Oregon Zoo in 2012, which is when she first considered zoo keeping as a career. In 2016, Taylor earned an associate degree in the Biology and Management of Zoo Animals from Portland Community College, during which she completed a yearlong unpaid internship at the Oregon Zoo. Taylor was then hired at the Oregon Zoo as a temporary keeper for a year before taking a position at the Dallas World Aquarium for a year and then moving to her current position.
Taylor’s favorite part of her job is making training progress with the animals she works with and growing those relationships. Taylor recommends that aspiring zoo keepers get experience early at any place possible, like a humane society, pet store, or local zoo. Work hard during any opportunity, including internships, as you are often watched and “interviewed” as an intern!