Staff Spotlight for Zoo and Aquarium Month

You may have heard that June is Zoo and Aquarium Month, so there is no better time to spotlight the people who make it possible to run the Baton Rouge Zoo! Local zoos and aquariums like us are much more than cherished family attractions. We have a major role in the worldwide conservation of wildlife and the sustainability of the planet. Zoos are local resources to learn about global species and the importance of their impact on the planet and our lives as humans. And every staff member of the Baton Rouge Zoo is important to serving our mission.

5 animal technicians posing together at the Baton Rouge Zoo

Animal Technicians, Aimee Milton, Conni Pope, Julianna Johnson, Amy Hewitt, Alicia Buckland

Our mission at the Baton Rouge Zoo is to connect people with wildlife and the natural world through exceptionally engaging experiences and conservation efforts that impact our world both locally and globally. At the administrative office, you will find the people who manage many of the variables that keep the mission working! We know that every time a person interacts with an animal, it strengthens their connection to the animal, its importance to our planet, and educates them on the threats their species face.

It’s no surprise that caring for wild and often dangerous animals is a serious responsibility. Our dedicated zookeepers care for the animals, making sure their basic needs are met as well as enriching their daily lives at the zoo. They keep their shelters and habitats clean and safe for the animals and the visitors, too. Every morning the keepers let the animals out of their night houses for you to come to visit and learn. And at the end of the day, they make sure they're safely back inside their shelters. Thanks to our zookeepers, the animals are safe, healthy and happy in their habitats at the zoo.

Don’t forget our animal care staff behind the scenes! Whenever you visit the zoo, you may see the Siamang Gibbons munching on their nutritional pellets, or even walk by at the time when their keeper hand-feeds them their favorite fruits and veggies. If you’re lucky to watch this, you can thank the commissary or “animal kitchen” for the experience! Like us, animals need certain nutrients and calories to stay healthy and active. The commissary staff makes sure the wide variety of animal diets are met. And of course, there is our veterinary team. Exotic veterinary animal care is very specialized, difficult, and potentially dangerous. Our vet team has one of the most challenging but rewarding jobs.

At any zoo, horticulture must be carefully curated! Plants growing in or near animal habitats must be thoroughly evaluated to make sure there is nothing budding that is toxic to the animal. Though the animals may be exotic, the plants must fit in with our native ecosystem to provide nutrients to the soil and insects that share the earth with us.

Two groundskeepers posing together at the Baton Rouge Zoo

Groundskeeper, Virginia and Helen, at Boo at the Zoo

Admissions, café, gift shop, and groundskeeping teams work each day to make your visit to the Baton Rouge Zoo exciting and memorable. Whether it’s welcoming you to the zoo, answering the phone, providing you with an energizing meal, or keeping the grounds free from debris, every staff member at the zoo has an important role in our mission.

Of course, there is another group who keeps the mission alive at the Baton Rouge Zoo – our guests! We thank you, our guest, for every little bit of support you provide to the zoo. Your passion for the zoo, the animals, and our community is the final piece of the puzzle. We hope you will join us this June, during National Zoo and Aquarium Month, to visit the Baton Rogue Zoo, to engage with our mission and experience the wild world of animals and conservation!