Behind the Scenes banner

Zookeeper with mother babirusa and two babies

Get to know our Lands of Change team for National Zookeeper Week! This six-person team cares for 270 animals, the largest number of animal residents at our Zoo! These residents include our red kangaroo mob, North Sulawesi babirusa family, and three separate flocks of birds: the flamingos, cockatiels, and rainbow lorikeets.

“This takes a lot of hard work and thorough observations to ensure we are providing the best care for so many birds!” said Lands of Change area supervisor Kristen Gagnon. “Plus, we get to care for animals in three unique walk-through habitats, which gives us an incredible opportunity to engage with guests that get to be so close to some really special animals.”

Most recently, the team just finished up a very busy breeding season in our aviaries! Twenty-one cockatiel chicks hatched this year, and the team has 11 lorikeet chicks at different stages in development. The keepers put in a lot of time and effort to maintain nest boxes, track eggs and chicks, and make sure the chicks had the care they needed.

“It was a lot of work, but we had a very successful season and now there are juvenile birds in both aviaries, learning to eat food from our guests!” Kristen said.

Many zookeepers get into this field because they are passionate about animals and want to share that passion with the world, Kristen said. While these jobs can be fun and exciting, there is a lot of hard physical work – scrubbing, raking, lugging hay and diets – needing done every day.

“Everything we do is important for our animals, and that makes it rewarding and worth the effort!” Kristen said.

Brevard Zoo is an independent, not-for-profit organization that receives no recurring government funding for our operating costs. Your generous support enables us to continue to serve our community and continue our vital animal wellness, education and conservation programs.