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Continued: Achieving Excellence: Zookeeper gets 'personal' with wild animals

  • Article by: BILL WARD , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 23, 2013 - 9:03 AM

Q: Are there sacrifices?

A: We’re open every day except Christmas and Thanksgiving. And even when the zoo is not open, we have to come in. So we work weekends, we work holidays. I miss a lot of family get-togethers. I work Sundays, so I miss a lot of Packers games.

 

Q: Does the mastery help other parts of your life?

A: It’s helped a little bit with public speaking because the more you know about the topic, the more confident you get and the easier it is to do. When I started to do this, I didn’t expect to do as much talking. And I pick up more cues from animals. Maybe with people, I should pay attention to physical cues rather than what people are saying [laughs].

 

Q: What’s your ultimate goal?

A: I’m pretty happy with where I am right now. I’m not sure if I want to move up to a management position. The farther you move up the food chain, the less animal interaction you have.

 

Bill Ward • 612-673-7643

 

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  • About the series

    This is the latest in an occasional series about everyday Minnesotans who exhibit mastery — the combination of knowledge, skill, experience and understanding that offers a deep command of a topic or activity. Previous installments have featured a triathlete, a restaurant server, a chess master and a special education teacher.

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