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Hi, I’m Rachael!

I grew up in Northern California among the beautiful redwood trees and near the Pacific Ocean. Due to this, I have always been fascinated with the natural world, especially animals. I have always known I wanted to work with animals since I was a young girl. I graduated from Humboldt State University with a Zoology degree. I have owned quite a few reptiles as personal pets, so it isn’t surprising that I have ended up working with them professionally. I am the Manager of the Reptile Department and I have been at the park for over 3.5 years.

Follow Rachael on ticktok to learn more about the fun animals she works with @reptilerachael on TikTok!

Keeper Questions

  • Do you need to study animals in school? What was your major?

    There are many places that work with animals, and they do want you to have bachelor’s in animal studies of some sort. I specifically have a zoology degree. I knew I wanted to do this going  as soon as I was five or six.

  • What was your first job with Animals?
    Don’t be discouraged if you can’t get something right off the bat. It does may take a couple years to get into the field. My first job wasn’t a zookeeping job, I became a researching technician in Oregon. I ran around, chased birds, and I would put tiny backpacks on them. That’s when I realized I wanted to be a zookeeper, and be more hands-on, day to day.
  • What are some useful skills to know to be a Keeper?
    This may seem odd, but other than education – I know how to drive a stick shift car! There are still a lot of them. I also know how to use power tools! At my first internship as a keeper,  I was actually hired over other people because I knew how to use drills and saws. If you have  someone with power tools have them show you how to use them!
    *Very safe of course!
  • What's something I can do while I'm still in school?
     Get your hands on animals as much as you possibly can!
    Lots of places–your Humane Societies– maybe even local zoos will take in volunteers. So try and get into just getting your hands on animals and then during your bachelor’s degree  or your in high school or summertime!
    See if you can get an internship– it may not be paid but at least it will give you experience.
  • Year of The Dragon!
    The month of February is when many Asian countries celebrate their new year and this year is actually the year of the Dragon! Fisher, and other Caimans are as pretty much as close as a dragon a we we can
    possibly get so the crocodilian species they actually haven’t changed much in the last 250 million years.  That’s a really long time so if we were to have dragons on land they would pretty much be these guys just with wings  but a lot of people don’t know.
    There are actually four different groups in the crocodilian family!  A lot of people only know the crocodiles and the alligators. Fisher is actually a Caiman. These guys are one of the smallest group of crocodilians.
See More of Keeper Korner
Armando & Diligence
Rachael & Fisher
Meet Zarah the Bengal Tiger

If you love animals and have a question – ask! We would love to answer your questions about our animal friends and what it’s like to be a Keeper!

If you are a classroom, we would love to hear from you! Please submit your questions all on one form (attach below). List your teacher’s name, the school, the class and the town. Limit your questions to no more than TEN, and try to only ask about one animal or area of the park. IE: Mr. Smith’s 3rd Grade Class from Harrison Elementary in Denver Colorado, asking about lizards, or Jericho the Rhino, etc. We will let you know if your class is selected, and answer all your questions, in a special Keeper Korner!


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