Like most zookeepers, Eunice has always enjoyed being around animals. She began working with animals at the Dolphin Conservation Center in Marineland, FL, in 2006, and it was there that she decided to make training and caring for animals her career. After working at the Downtown Aquarium in Houston training tigers, birds and other small animals, Eunice accepted a position here in 2010. She has worked in the Zoo’s Education Department, Cat Ambassador Program, and is now a zookeeper in the Children’s Zoo.
Eunice works with goats, chickens, pigs, pigeons, donkeys, cows, sheep, reptiles, a llama, an alpaca, a dog and other small animals. The flexibility to be creative with training the variety of animals in her care is what Eunice values most about her job. Last week, for example, she started teaching one of the miniature pigs how to bowl!
On a typical day in the Children’s Zoo, Eunice feeds the animals, cleans their enclosures, and provides them with enrichment objects and activities. Taking hoof-stock on daily walks through the Zoo is another fun part of her job. You never know what animal might be following Eunice on a leash! If you see her out and about, feel free to ask questions about the animals in her care.
Every day at the Zoo is unique. Eunice recalls a special day when she was training a chicken to jump through a hula hoop. The light bulb went off and the chicken figured out what Eunice was asking her to do and the chicken leaped through the hoop. “That was a fun moment,” Eunice describes.
In her spare time, Eunice enjoys running in races. She has completed several half marathons and one full marathon. Eunice has a pet cat named Lola that has not been trained to do a thing.