Zoo Workers From Around The World Share Their Memorable Animal Stories

Zoo Workers From Around The World Share Their Memorable Animal Stories

A zoo is like a microcosm of nature itself. So many different species living together, only in close quarters and with the added complication that they constantly have to interact with humans. What could possible go wrong?

These zoo keepers and others who work with animals all around the world recently went online to share their favorite stories and anecdotes about their furry friends from work. If you're an animal lover, this is definitely for you.


40. Don't mess with chickadees

Have worked in various wildlife rehab/research facilities, including a bird sanctuary where we did mist-netting (setting up very fine nets between trees to catch songbirds) and banding of wild birds for research/population counts. Handled everything from thrushes to woodpeckers to crows to sparrows...and the biggest jerks?


Most of the birds were scared or curious when we took them out of the nets. The chickadees? Were bloody furious. There was something bizarrely respectable about it. Here I am holding a bird smaller than the palm of my hand whose head I could crush with my freaking thumb, and it's going, "You may be bigger than me but if you don't let me go I will rip your cuticle off."

On an aside, the woman who owned and ran one of the wildlife rehabs where I worked had rescued and care for wolves, bears, lynx, mountain lions...the one animal that put her in the hospital? A white-tailed deer. Gored the crap out of her.

Ooh, same facility, our female black bear loved rainy days. She'd wait until a school or tour group got up nice and close to her enclosure, then give the wet ground an almighty whack with her front paw. Sprayed the entire group with mud. She did it every single time.

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39. Take your Advil, long neck!

Been a zookeeper for almost 2 years now. We have a giraffe that has a couple meds he has to take daily, but the little troublemaker will NOT take the same food from you two days in a row. He knows exactly what we’re up to and also happens to be the pickiest eater ever so sometimes it takes an hour to get five pills, the size of A TYPICAL ADVIL PILL, into this 2,000 pound animal.

Also was watching lions in their inside enclosure once. Mom and dad we’re laying down and daughter was just walking around trying to find a spot. The daughter is notorious for bugging any other lion with her to play by sitting on them. She walks over to mom and starts to sit, or so I thought, and just starts peeing on her. I’ve never seen a lion double take but that second I swear to god I saw mom look at what was falling on her and then just DISGUST on her face and she jumped up and swatted at daughter. It was pretty freaking hilarious.


38. Monkeys on the loose

I work for a major zoo, but not in animal care/husbandry. Still, we get some pretty gnarly stories that are awesome to listen to over the radio as they unfold.

For example:

Two small monkeys escape from their habitat. I'm up front doing my thing, and bring the radio out so my guys can listen to the chatter. It sounded more like a precision military strike than trying to recapture our collection friends.

"...alright, clear the northwest sidewalk, the dart will be coming in your direction..." (some tense silence) "Monkey one is down..." "..." "Monkey two is hit..." "He's pulled the dart out! The dart is out..." "Monkey two hit again... he is not down, again, not down..." (some more tense silence) "Monkey two is down."

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37. Tucking tail

I was a zookeeper and worked in animal care in various capacities for a long time. One of the weirdest things I've seen is when a reptile "drops" their tail. It's only happened to me once with a lemon gecko I was transferring from one terrarium to another. I had a poor grip on him and as he was wiggling loose I desperately grabbed on to his tail which he promptly dropped and I was left holding a dismembered, writhing tail while the gecko escaped.

Also, two of the lions at one of my jobs were afraid of a raccoon. I could hear them (the lions) making the most pitiful, pathetic bellowing sounds. I went to check on them and lo and behold a raccoon was up one of the trees in their enclosure. These two large alpha predators were absolutely distraught over a little raccoon. For its part, the raccoon was completely unbothered and just observed them for a bit before going on its way.

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36. Arms race

I really loved the Giant Pacific Octopus I got to play with every day. Sweet girl, super smart, and she loved to come out of her tank when it came time to feed her.

Really, really strong, though. If she'd wanted to, she could've easily dragged me into her tank. One-to-one, my arms beat hers, but she had several more than I did, and hers were slippery af.

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35. Taste the rainbow

Ex-Zookeeper here. Orangutans are super smart, super strong, and super jerks. Well, some are. We had a female who, if you were standing in front of her indoor inclosure, would spit and hit you in the mouth every single time. And grin. She grinned so big when it happened. Lesson learned.

One time she was let back out into the yard, but a rake was left behind from cleaning. She would not shift back in so we could get it. The keeper called her over to the grated door, made motions and talked in hopes of getting her to bring the rake. Surprisingly she did. She would not give it up though.

So, the keeper got out the bag of Skittles he had, gave her a couple, then motioned for the rake. She broke a piece off and handed it through the door. OMG. So she got more Skittles, he got another piece of rake. This went on until all of the rake was back inside. Clever girl.

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34. I now want a manatee

Manatees are the absolute best! They're affectionate and playful, they like pets and squeak at you when they like you. They'll also nibble on your butt as a sign of affection.

Raccoons on the other hand are super smart little crooks who like to bite and willfully ignore you, even though they know exactly what you want from them. Good thing they're cute.

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33. They're seriously smarter than many humans


I was volunteering at an aquarium in the cephalopod section. One day the power was out, so we were on backup generators and we were running all over to make sure everything necessary to keep the animals alive was still running. The tanks where we kept the giant pacific octopuses (these octopuses are about 8 or 9 feet across) didn't have a solid top to close it up - instead the top portion of the tank is covered by astroturf. Octopus suckers can't work on astroturf, so they can't climb out. In theory.

This one octopus jams herself into the water outtake in her tank while no one is paying attention. Water keeps going in, but none can get out. She makes a waterfall out of the tank and tries to ride it to freedom. We caught her just after she flopped onto the floor.

They're just too fucking smart.

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32. Oh yeah, they'll rob you

I volunteered for both of the main zoos in Phoenix, AZ when I was younger. The squirrel monkeys were the nicest. They never tried to escape, they'd follow me around at a distance because they genuinely were curious about me, they'd occasional reach down and pet my hair.

Imagine my surprise when years later I started seeing videos of squirrel monkeys stealing stuff from zoo guests.

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31. Poor Wallace Montgomery

I used to work with a hand-raised wallaby named Wallace Montgomery. He was hand-raised (translation: psycho) and then given to us when he became a wee bit overwhelming for his previous caretaker.

Feeding time? Prepare to be be gouged by his razor sharp nails, bit on your softest parts, and the bowl WILL be knocked out of your hands.

Cleaning time? He will grab your rake and shovel, hit you with them, and kick you when you bend down to pick up your stuff.

Trying to give him fresh straw to sleep on? Nope. He shredded the bag it came in. He kicked the fresh straw into the yard. He picked up the dirty pee-covered straw and rubbed it all over you.

I love him immensely. Fun fact: if you pick him up mid-tantrum, he will lay his head on your shoulder and give you three solid minutes of snuggles before recommencing your attempted murder.

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30. A very big kitty

My favorite animals to work with were the ferrets. Super playful and sweet. The only sad thing was that they don’t have a very long lifespan.

The skinks were super cool and chill. They loved when I rolled my sleeves up and let them rest on my warm arms (they are cold blooded).

The bobcat was really sweet and honestly just like an overgrown house cat except for the huge teeth and claws. We tossed boxes into her enclosure and she would play with them just like a domestic cat. She also purred really loudly. It was super cute.

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29. Don't take my baby

I’m a zookeeper!

We had a lone, male Marabou stork that found a water bottle, picked it up and put it in his nest, then proceeded to incubate it for a while. He got mad when we eventually had to take it away from him.

I’ve seen adult giraffe attempt to nurse from lactating females and seem peeved when she wouldn’t let them.

I’ve seen a Nyala antelope get a whole square of sod skewered upside down on his horns that eventually slid down and completely covered one of his eyes. He acted like nothing was happening.

Marabou_stork_Leptoptilos_crumenifer-300x300.jpgThomas J Sharp/Wikimedia Marabou stork.

28. Later gator

We have a children's zoo at our local jail. (The animal's (most are rescue or seized) are cared for by the inmates and a full time farmer.)

We once had two alligators in a pen together. When we got them, they were both about three feet long. As they grew, one got a bit larger than the other (about four feet). One morning, the farmer and the inmates found only the larger one and, um, "leftovers" of the other.

Apparently, the is natural behavior for gators. You don't want to be the runt of the littler.

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27. He's giving you a free lunch!

We had a kookaburra who would catch lizards, snakes, frogs, and even earthworms so he could feed them to you. You would be standing around doing your job and all of a sudden he shows up on your shoulder trying to force feed you a lizard he whacked on the ground 30 times.

Oh by the way if you covered your mouth, why not try the ear? The ear is a great place to put a dead lizard or live earthworm...


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26. Get ready to do your touchdown dance

I worked at a zoo a few years ago. I used to dread having to deal with the ostriches a little bit. The reason was because every time they'd lay eggs we'd have to gather them. As expected they don't like it very much and chased us every time. It's like carrying a football, running for the end zone and being pursued by 250 pound linebacker who is perfectly capable of killing you.

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25. The legendary Harambe

So no one here will believe me but... I literally worked with Harambe.

I interned at the Cincinnati zoo in the primate department. I helped prep diets, clean enclosures, develop and deploy enrichment etc. I didn't get to work directly with gorillas because they were deemed too dangerous for non-employees but I walked by their enclosures often and could see them through the housing. We had two family groups, one usually hung outside for part of the day and when they came in, the other would go out.

Well Harambe was in a group with two females and he usually was separate from them when they were indoors and hung out at the far end of the indoor enclosure. Well I had to walk by his enclosure to get to another animals' to clean it and EVERY SINGLE TIME I walked by his enclosure he would charge the enclosure door closest to me and slam it with his fists. Every single time. Scared the crap out me every time.

Apparently he came from a zoo where the keepers were less than kind and they were all guys so he associated guys with bad memories. A good portion of keepers at Cinci Zoo were ladies so he loved them just fine.

Probably just a product of bad experiences.



24. Bad bats, bad bats, whatcha gonna do?

I'm an intern in a well known zoo. We have a wet cave filled with probably 1000 short tailed leaf nosed fruit bats. The door is surrounded by a wire cage. When we go to feed them we just let the door open and let the bats fly in the cage. When we leave we have to herd them back into the cave. As an intern I'm not allowed to touch them. So I put my hand up by them to guide them.

Except they don't like that and they'll fly right in my face and hover there for a few minutes to send some kind of message.

One day I was by myself doing it and one of the little troublemakers would not get in the damn cave. I stood there for like 10 minutes doing jazz fingers and he just hung there.

Bad boys.

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23. You're not going to move 5o0 pounds of turtle

I work with some Aldabra tortoises. They have an outdoor pen, but obviously they are stuck in a smaller indoor enclosure during the colder months.

They won't leave you alone. I was watering the plants at one point, when two big males came up behind me and pinned me to the wall. I pinwheeled my arms and fell onto one's back...sort of got to ride him.

Other times, they decide to sit RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE DOOR. So you're stuck until you convince them to move. You certainly aren't going to move 500 pounds of turtle on your own.

If you put a squeegee against the wall, they simply HAVE to knock it over and sit on it.

Got the hose out? Yup. Gotta sit on it.

Bringing out food? Sit right on the feed troughs.

In fairness they live a long time so they’re basically grumpy old men. But still, guys… come on.

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22. My funny looking dog

My first 'proper' job, between high school and college was at a Zoo (South Lakes Wild Animal Park, in England). My favorite animal to work with was the babirusa; we only had one and he used to 'escort' me around the perimeter of his enclosure whenever I was in the area. If I stopped, he'd stop, if I walked backward he would turn around and follow. He would crazily wag his tail and make, what I assumed to be, 'happy' snorts. He seemed to genuinely enjoy seeing me, and when I didn't have much of anything to do I'd make my way over to his pen, just to rub his back. He was like an old, happy, doggo.


21. Silverback breakout

As a current zookeeper, having two silverback gorillas escape into the keeper area was the single craziest and most terrifying thing that has happened to me.

Two adult male gorillas got into the keeper hallway due to keeper error. The two keepers got out by going onto the gorilla exhibit and climbing out by a ladder (brought over by another keeper). I was part of the team that helped get them secured. Basically we used fire hoses to force them out to their exhibit and then sprinted down the hallway and locked the door. It took about 3 hours total and I was pumping adrenaline like crazy the whole time, especially running to lock a door with nothing but like 100 yards between me and the gorillas.

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20. Why I otter

I work at an aquarium. We have one male sea otter who likes to play with himself right in front of the glass in the most prominent spot. His junk is bright red and he just strokes it and nibbles at it in front of everybody. Every single day. Lucky for me, I’m the one who stands by the exhibit, so I'm the one who has to field all the awkward questions from the guests.

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19. Chimp or treat

I would bring the chimps treats each week. I once brought a bag full of lychee, which they thought was only "meh" but the keepers loved them. Surprised me, since I thought they would go nuts for them so I picked a whole tree's worth.

One day I bring a dozen kiwi, and it was clear they had never seen them before. Watching them peel the kiwi so delicately with their lips was amazing.

Also, given watermelon, they will eat it all the way through to the skin. I'm talking all the rind down to one millimeter of tough green skin.

They'll chomp a banana tree stalk like candy... anyway, chimps love treats.

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18. Hungry hungry hippos

I'm not a zoo keeper yet, but I've spent a lot of time volunteering and interning at my local zoo. The hippos were by far my favorite, they were really intelligent and they loved to be touched, which is always a bonus. They really liked having their gums and tongue rubbed, too.

Wild hippos are really dangerous and you shouldn't approach them -- especially males. But ours were worked with so frequently using positive reinforcement training that they were really friendly with people. Most hippos in zoos do well around people since they get so much human interaction. We never went in with them though, accredited zoos only use protected contact with them, so any interactions were done through a barrier.

Also, the elephants were great, but you always had to be cautious around them because their trunks make them really dangerous. They throw stuff at you, too, so it kept me on my toes.

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17. Birds of a feather

I used to volunteer at a zoo and the biggest jerks were the ravens. They were really smart and awesome for enrichment activities and for teaching in classrooms but if they got bored they would find a way to entertain themselves.

One particular time a raven decided to place some of its food right outside its caged enclosure to lure a peacock. Once the peacock got close and started to eat the raven would sneak up and pluck the tail feathers off of the peacock.

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16. Rafiki tricked you

I worked at a private zoo for a while and the weirdest was probably the female baboon rescue we had. She was very well tempered but she would beckon new workers over to her cage with a gesture and if you had anything in your hand, she'd reach out and rip it from you then throw it off the steep hill behind her enclosure.

There were lots of pens and hats and crap down in the "pit" at the bottom of that hill we didn't bother to get. It's only when she threw phones down there that we even make an effort to get in and retrieve stuff.

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15. Getting a free bath

I’m a zookeeper! I work in a small department with lots of random animals that we take on programs to show guests. In our department, the cages are made of mesh, so the animals can sometimes be housed next to each other where they can reach each other and interact. One time, the beaver was housed next to the tamanduas (lesser ant eaters), and we went over and saw the tamanduas licking the beaver ALL OVER! By the time the beaver went back to his own enclosure he was soaking wet with tamandua spit.

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14. Future Cy Young winner

On my last trip to the zoo was chatting with a gorilla caretaker who had just tossed some fruits and vegetables into the exhibit. Another zookeeper walked past, and the silverback picked up a piece of hardened scat and flung it about 75 feet and hit her in the shoulder. From what we were told, he just didn't like that zookeeper for no particular reason, he just enjoyed hitting her with objects. As a former baseball coach, I would have put the speed of that poop at 60 MPH or so. It left a nasty welt on her.

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13. Early dentists

Not a zookeeper but primatologist. During my masters I did a study on spontaneous tool use in captive baboons. The weird bit? They were flossing. Literally flossing with hair and broom bristles like we do with toothpicks and...well dental floss. You can Google 'Flossing Baboons' and you'll pretty quickly get a photo of Georgia.

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12. Sir Winston Churchill

Our zoo has a cassowary (big bird) named Sir Winston Churchill and his Lady (the female mate.)

Apparently he is quite the escape artist. They had had to rebuild the enclosure several times because he climbs the fence. The put him in a fully enclosed exhibit and he managed to unlock a door. They put him in an indoor exhibit and he refused to eat until they put him back outside...where he instantly climbed the fence and escaped.

Now he and his Lady have a little enclosure with a super high fence and round the clock camera surveillance off the path of the zoo trail. You can still go see him, but you wouldn't know he was there unless someone pointed him out to you. As far as I know, he hasn't tried to escape recently. He just really didn't want to be on display, so he made life a nightmare until he got what he wanted.

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11. White ferret privilege

I volunteered at a Zoo (well, the Children's Zoo part of a Zoo) when I was a teenager. Nothing too crazy ever happened that I saw, but we did have a ferret there that would bite black kids. No one else, just them. And yes, it was a completely white ferret named Snow.

Guess they didn't want to put up a "Warning: The white ferret is racist" sign because they eventually got rid of it.

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10. Creepy crawlies

I volunteered at the Smithsonian National Zoo for a summer back in high school! But I worked in the invertebrates hall. I got to play with Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, ctenophores, spiders, mantis shrimp... Okay, didn't play with the mantis shrimp, but I watched it a lot.

Best creature: Great Pacific Octopus. I got to clean her tank and she loved to try and get out. She was beautiful and brilliant and just generally awesome to see in action.

Worst: Creepy golden orb spiders. They never left their web so we didn't have glass over their exhibit. I haaate spiders. One of the scientists told me a horror story about their babies once. Usually when they found an egg sac they put it in a special hatchery, but once they missed one and opened the doors in the morning to an exhibit FULL OF SPIDERS and they had to put them all in the right spot.

Ironically, the octopus was a total jerk who tried to escape all the time (she got my hand twice, although I was never injured) and the spiders were the chillest creatures in there.

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9. You talking to my girl?!

Super late, but actual Zookeeper. I was once charged by a very large male Sulcata Tortoise who apparently thought I got a little too close to his female. Fortunately I was able to step over the foot high fence in time so that I wasn't viciously mauled. Our tortoises are characters. I've also had to flip the male over by myself, who mind you, is on the upper end of his life span and about as big as they get, because he got a little too frisky with the female and fell off.

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8. I wish I could slap that owner

Former zoo employee here, worked reptiles. Well-socialized reticulated pythons are awesome to work with. The facility where I worked had an 18 foot female that had been abused by her previous owner. (When he sold her to the park he slapped her across the face to prove she was tame.)

She was only a few years old and 8 feet long at the time, and just recoiled and tried to escape when he hit her. It took the park nearly a year and a half to get her comfortable with being handled, and now she's extremely docile and comfortable around people.

The zoo I worked at regularly held a giant snake show, where guests could pet and take pictures with our biggest snakes. This retic is the park's biggest snake, and best show snake by far.

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7. One ill tern

I used to work on a boat that did marine wildlife and birding tours. Every spring when the orcas came north into our bay they'd come up to the boat to check it out and say hi. They'd rub up against the boat and swim around. We'd let kids touch their fins, they were quite docile. The only animal we were EVER attacked by was an arctic tern.

Terns are really small for seabirds but they are dicks. They are so aggressive because, for god knows why, they build their nests on the ground rather than in trees. There are trees around, they could use the nests to build trees in. But no, they'd rather just terrorize anyone who makes the mistake of coming near their nest. Foxes, weasels, people, bears, whatever. Terns will attack you.

One day we were watching an arctic tern chasing an eagle around at least a mile off shore. A tourist on our boat was trying to capture it with a telephoto lens, and the tern didn't like this guy's attitude so it tried to peck a $2000 lens to pieces.

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6. Just like dealing with toddlers

I work with squirrel monkeys, and I go in there with a little bowl of live mealworms for training purposes. One day one particular monkey was being fairly grabby, reaching for my hair and whatnot. I had closed up their cage and was getting ready to leave when I noticed I hadn't slid a hatch shut. I moved closer to the fence to do it and someone - I don't know who, but I'm betting it was the grabby one - shot a hand out of the cage, reaching for the mealworms, and knocked the bowl out of my hands.

I don't know if you know this, but individual mealworms are hard to pick up off the floor, especially when they're crawling away as fast as their little legs can go. And so then of course all the monkeys are on the ground reaching through the fence to grab the worms while I'm trying to scoop them back into the bowl as fast as I can. That must have been the greatest thing ever, like HOLY SHIT FREE WORMS EVERYWHERE

I did also have a capuchin monkey throw food at me. I ignored it because I was observing a different monkey at the time, and out of the corner of my eye I saw the one that I assume threw the food come up to the fence and stick her arm under the door to try to reclaim the food she'd thrown at me, but it was out of her reach. Karma.

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5. You lost, kid

Not a zookeeper, but a few years ago we were visiting the Berlin zoo and some kids that were in our group were really fascinated by the chimpanzees.

After a few minutes of making faces and trying to get the chimps attention - one of the kids shows the monkey his middle finger.​

The chimp responded with lifting both its arms and showing the kid TWO middle fingers.

Check mate, kid.

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4. Friends with a tiger

I used to be a zoo keeper and animal trainer! I mostly worked with large carnivores so my experience is with them.

Tigers and lions, of course. Tigers are just intense while being cuddly at the same time and it's amazing. We had a 3 year old female that would rub against my legs just like a house cat and nearly knock me over. They are seriously the best and there's nothing in the world like having a bond with a 400 pound apex predator. You have to be careful though, the really sweet ones make it easy to get too comfortable. Most maulings are because of things that ultimately stem from forgetting the dangers.

Lion cubs are adorable. I raised these two that would lay in my lap when they ate. I would put a bowl of meat down, they would grab a piece then plop in my lap to eat it, and repeat. They're at a big place in California now doing great.

Lemurs are cool too. I've never worked with them, but I took a girl on a date once to play with some. I was working to buy a roadside zoo and turn it into a sanctuary, and I convinced the owner to let me bring a girl in with two ringtail lemurs. It was on a day they were closed so it was just the two of us in the whole place giving blueberries to lemurs.

Bears are filthy animals. They have no instinctual hygiene habits it seems.

Leopards are rad but you can't trust them. Their predator switch flips faster than any other big cat and of you don't watch for behavior changes really closely you won't catch it.

I once threatened to quit if I had to work with primates. I hate monkeys, and great apes push the captivity line for me. Unless you have a very good reason like a sanctuary or are actively contributing to conservation, there is no reason for an ape to be in captivity. Education is not enough,

Sometimes I miss that life.

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3. The great escape

I wasn't there at the time that this has happened, but I used to volunteer at the Omaha Zoo, and there was the story of Fu Manchu, the orangutan.

Apparently, one of the keepers found Fu and some of his buddies hanging out outside of their enclosure and ushered them back in. When it happened again, the keeper thought someone was leaving the enclosure open. It happened so much that someone was about to get fired over it.

Finally, someone witnessed Fu climbing through an air vent to get to the door, pulling it open enough to expose a gap, then pulling a piece of wire from his mouth and using the wire to undo the latch and open the door. He'd been hiding the wire in between his gums and lips to engineer his escape.

Pretty slick, huh?

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2. Tuna, tuna, tuna, EXPLOSION

My time to shine! My favorite story is when I was doing audience shows at an aquarium in New Jersey. We had yellowfin tuna in the ocean tank which was 780,000 gallons IIRC maybe 70ft x 70ft wide from overhead. Now yellowfin are some of the ocean's best and fastest swimmers. They can get up to 45mph underwater, which is cool when you would see the small school of them zip back and forth in the tank, but they'd have to stop every 70ft or so because of the wall or make a quick pivot and try to circle around the tank.

So one day I'm helping out with a dive show where divers are in the ocean tank behind a 50ft tall window and there's ampitheater seating in front of it. The ampitheater is packed with kids on field trips and they're watching as the tuna are zipping back and forth from one end of the tank to the other. The show people are yakking on about sea creatures, and the school of tuna are coming back this way full blast. And one of them didn't make the turn fast enough. So I was looking right at it as it slammed into the thick acrylic window at full speed. It went:

Tuna, tuna, tuna, EXPLOSION.

now there are other carnivorous animals in this tank namely 11 sand tigers, sand bar sharks, a couple 17ft long stingrays and some loggerhead turtles (not carnivorous but they'll eat whatever) and lunch has been served!

It's a feeding frenzy and the amphitheater of school kids are screaming. Chaos erupts! everyone is shock. some kids are trying to run away and climb over each other. The girl with the mic has no idea what to do. The diver in the tank just looks up as the swarming mass of ocean fury is taking place over his head. After about a minute it's more amazing than horrifying and people are glued to their seats.

Eventually the sharks tear the tuna up into so many pieces every thing dissipates and chunks of tuna sail around the tank all day and you can see the turtles biting at a tuna head. Best day at the aquarium ever!

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1. Fick thinks he's a camel

I used to volunteer at a rehabilitation zoo, where the old and sick go to live out the remaining of their years. It was the first couple of weeks working there when we got in this new cute old wallaby, he was possibly around 13 years old we figured. We named him Fick. He was rescued and brought to the facility from a circus. He was old and funny, like we expected, but he was super smart and crafty. He had to share the pen with a kangaroo, he seemed to do okay with the fact that he had to share the new territory.

No more than a week later, he ended up jumping the fence and decided to live with the camels. He took a liking to these old camels, it was really cute. Each time we would round him up and put him back with the old kangaroo. He would hop the fence every night. We would come to work in the morning and see him curled up sleeping by the camels. Well, that was all in good fun, we decided to let him roam the zoo and leave him out because he liked to be free and see the other animals too.

One day though, I come into work and the other volunteers standing around the parking lot. I get out of my car and ask them what's wrong. They said that someone had broken in and they think that the burglar is still inside and that the police are on their way. It was scary. The police showed up and looked around inside and wouldn't you know, they didn't find a burglar.

They found Fick had broke in. It was a gift shop type thing for the entrance of the place. He had actually broken through the window to the place and decided that he wanted to sleep in the stuffed animal bin. Fick didn't like the police intruding on his sleep. He wakes up startled and freaks the hell out, he runs over to me (I was the lucky one) and punches me right in the gut. I double over in pain.

Fick punched me and ran back out the window where he had come in. I continued working there with Fick and the other animals and loved it till the day I had to move away. I miss the little rascal even though he continued to punch me sometimes.

We finally received a bigger fence so he couldn't jump over and the risk of him breaking out and jumping onto the highway was bad. We would let him roam in the daytime, but in the night while we weren't there we had to keep him in.

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