We are starting off September with a new Keeper Feature! What’s a Keeper Feature? It’s a blog series where we interview a member of our dedicated zookeeper family and highlight the amazing work they do! If you haven’t read our other installments yet check out our blogs about our Carnivore & North American Section Head, Rita Findlay, and our African & Asian Section Head, Martha McIntosh.

This September we interviewed Menita Prasad, our Animal Care Manager & Media Spokesperson! Not only is she super smart – she has such a deep love and passion for all animals. To learn more about Menita’s work, continue reading below!

 Q: What is your full name and title at the Zoo?

A: Menita Prasad, I am the Animal Care Manager & Media Spokesperson.

Q: How long have you worked at the Greater Vancouver Zoo?

A: Since 2004, so 14 years.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being a Zookeeper?

A: Every day presents itself with a new challenge so there is always a sense of accomplishment on a daily basis.

Q: What is the most memorable work day since you’ve been a keeper at the zoo?

A: The most memorable days are also some of the saddest days. The days when we have to say goodbye to a good friend.

Q: What does a typical day look like in your role?

A: There is no typical day! Every day brings something new which requires me to be incredibly flexible and adaptable on a daily basis.

Q: Who is your favourite animal at the zoo and why?

A: The marmosets! My background is in herpetology [study of amphibians and reptiles] so when I started in the Animal Care department, the marmosets presented me with the biggest challenge as I had no primate experience, but they quickly stole my heart.

Q: You’re the Zookeeper for the Vivarium and Reptiles, what encouraged you to want to work with this particular group of animals?

A: I fell in love with frogs at an early age. The more I learned about amphibians, reptiles, insects, and arachnids the more I wanted to share my knowledge and love with others.

Q: What’s your favourite saying/phrase or quote?

A: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss

Q: A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

A: Que pasa? Dondé está el pescado? [What’s up? Where is the fish?]

Q: If you could be any animal in the world, what would you be and why?

A: A wolf. I love and respect the dynamics of a wolf pack – the important role each individual plays from the alpha to the omega, the elders and every individual in between.

We are proud of our keepers Menita, Martha, and Rita and are so lucky to have their amazing support and knowledge on our team! Each day our keepers give talks about their animals, and we encourage you to check out our Keeper Talk Schedule to see them!

To help our keepers and support our conservation work, donate $10 or more and receive a limited edition Western Painted Turtle tee. Every dollar counts to help provide vital conservation and education programs at the zoo!