The other night my wife and I found a week-old kitten in the middle of our yard that had been left by its mother, a local stray. As we dug out the towels, feeding bottle, milk formula, and more, I started to think about how many animals have passed through our lives as well as the lives of our fellow Seneca Park Zoo zookeepers. I decided to do some brief interviews with our animal care staff and asked the question “How many animals in need have you saved, either by finding or giving a home or safe place to or adopting personally from a rescue or shelter?” I told them this applies to any animal, wild or domestic, that they’ve taken on.
Would you be surprised to find out that just 20 keepers here at Seneca Park Zoo have saved more than 300 animals ranging from bearded dragons to donkeys and everything in between? This number does not include the efforts of our amazing educational staff, volunteers and docents that are cut from a similar cloth. Nor does this consider zookeeper extraordinaire Rhonda McDonald, a certified wildlife rehabilitator for 15 years, who has saved over 700 animals by herself! Much respect, Rhonda.
The keepers here at Seneca Park Zoo are amazing people who are committed to a life much larger than their own. They open their hearts and homes to animals in need, without hesitation or reluctance. Hoping someone else will step in is not an option. I’m proud to be a part of this family that works together every day to give world-class care to the animals in their charge here at the Zoo, and tirelessly outside of work, in our community.
– Zoologist Brian Sheets