“Gentle Giant” Keeper – Jamey Vogel

Jamey Vogel became a Cincinnati Zoo employee in 1987.  Like many keepers, his progression at the Zoo has included working in several departments; therefore he has acquired a good understanding of many of our world’s Endangered Species, both plant and animal.

Jamey was a Zoo Volunteer Observer (ZVO) for a few years while attending college at the University of Cincinnati, where he majored in Biology. He then joined the crew at the Zoo’s Frisch’s Discovery Center and brought animals to schools as part of the Zoo’s Outreach program. He also took a part time job as a Walrus Interpreter in 1990.

In 1990, Jamey moved to Florida to continue his education, specializing in Coral Reef ecology.  After nearing the completion of his degree, he moved back north and rejoined the Cincinnti Zoo in 1993. He continued to finish his degree, while working part time as an Interpreter for the Walrus & Jungle Trails Exhibits. He joined the Horticulture department as a full-time seasonal gardener from late 1995 to 1997.  From fall of 1997 to spring of 1998, he got his first break as a temporary keeper in Jungle Trails. In 1998, he became a full-time keeper in the Bear department, caring for all the bears as well as the baby walruses, which remain one of his favorite animals. From May of 2000 to late 2002, he worked in the Commissary department.

In September of 2002, he took a position at the Manatee Springs building, where he found his true passion.  Over the last 8 years, Jamey has cared for all 12 of the manatees at the Cincinnati Zoo. He has acquired a vast amount of knowledge of Manatee biology. He has learned a great deal about Manatee Conservation issues, Federal regulatory politics and environmental conditions these marvelous creatures must endure to survive. He has participated in several manatee transfers and a few releases. He believes that through Education and affirmative action, all humans can work together to protect this “Gentle Giant” before he goes the way of the DoDo.