Cincinnati native Chris Edelen has been working at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden for 20 years. Chris was inspired by Jacques Cousteau and educational animal shows from his childhood to work with animals and to educate the public about them. Chris began his career here working in the Children’s Zoo and then moved to the Bird House where he worked for 12 years.
As a zookeeper at Manatee Springs, Chris is responsible for the daily care and upkeep of the manatees and their tank. He is involved with training the manatees and other animals in the Manatee Springs exhibit (excluding reptiles). He also works with our volunteer divers, preparing them for dives and maintaining their safety while they are in the tank. During Manatee Encounters (by smart), he shares factual information about the animals in Manatee Springs with visitors and tries to inspire people to take action to protect them.
In 2011 and 2012, Chris traveled to the Antarctic Peninsula to conduct penguin censuses. Those trips have been the highlight of his Zoo career thus far.
Outside of the Zoo world, Chris enjoys karate, biking and spending time with family. His pets include birds, bats, cats, and snakes. If he could work with any animal, he would choose auklets.