An interview with.....
This is a new series of blogs, of interviews with some wonderful people who work within the animal industry, from zoo keepers, to museum curators and everything in between and those that are on the path to working in these positions too. Be inspired for a future where you can combine your love of animals with your day job. I hope you enjoy these interviews, that you can learn something from them and they can inspire you.
Now let me introduce you to Jordan...
31 on June 30th!!! :) Happy Birthday Jordan - from Ria x
What do you do?
Zookeeper, Wildlife Educator
How did you get into it?
I started volunteering at zoos from the age of 11 and knew that is where I was meant to be. Internships and a lot of free work eventually led to a paid job.
What made you want to do what you do?
I've always loved animals and knew I wanted to help animals in any way I could and I feel like there are a lot of great zoos out there that are making leaps and bounds with conservation efforts. I also have a passion for educating people about wildlife. I love seeing faces light up when I tell them an animal fact they didn't know.
What does it involve?
Animal care involves lots of patience, care and understanding. Learning the natural history of the species that you work with will help you provide better care for that animal. Most of my time as a zookeeper is spent cleaning and it is not all cuddling with animals like people often assume. One of my main jobs is to go out to schools and other facilities with ambassador animals for presentations.
Did you need any particular qualifications?
At least a 4-year Bachelor of Science degree, at least 2 years of prior zookeeping experience, volunteer experience, internships...etc. There was a lot needed to get that first full time zookeeper position.
Any tips for a young person that wants to do what you do?
Stay passionate, follow your heart, and study! This is n't the job for you if you are only in it for the money....because we don't make much hahaha. Seriously, the animals rely on you as a zookeeper and you have to remember you are responsible for many lives. Stay dedicated.
What’s the best part of what you do?
Developing bonds between people and animals.
What’s your favourite animal?
What was the first animal that you fell in love with?
Killer Whales, Free willy to be exact
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Play basketball, mayke youtube videos (Jungle Jordan) and go on wilderness adventures looking for animals.
If you weren’t doing what you do now what else would you love to do?
Travel more often and study animals in their natural habitats.
Who inspires you?
Zoology Rick (formerly known as Zookeeper Rick). He is the spokesperson for San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. He connects people with animals in an amazing way and has been my mentor with figuring out how to function wildlife communication through social Media.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about?
I would say that this job isn't for everyone, and understand that it is a tough job with a lot of challenges but also can be very rewarding. The animals will thank you! Also remember we must conserve wildlife and we are all a part of a functioning ecosystem and if we continue to kill off these animals the ecosystems will go out of balance and we will crash.
Where can people find you?You can find me on all social media apps as JungleJordan23 and yes I'm on Tiktok! :)