Careers in Action

Mammal Keeper

“Follow your heart and go for it!”

Since she was a young girl, Avril has loved animals. In fact, she was constantly dragging her mother to the zoo. When Avril went to college, she majored in animal science and learned about animal nutrition, reproduction, anatomy, and physiology.

Avril volunteered in various positions at the Bronx Zoo and worked at a pet store before she was hired as a wild animal keeper. She can be found in some of the zoo’s most exciting exhibits Congo Gorilla Forest, Jungleworld, World of Darkness, and Monkey House. Avril works with many different species of mammals, including Mexican fruit bats, owl monkeys, and Asian small-clawed otters. As a keeper, she makes sure the animals stay healthy and stimulated. Avril feeds the animals and keeps their exhibit areas clean.

Because she loves interacting with the animals so much, Avril finds her work very rewarding. In addition, she knows that her work helps animals in the wild. Some of the captive-breeding programs Avril assists with are the last hope for many endangered species.