King penguin (Photo: Mark Dumont)

Raising a Daughter…and a Penguin – Zookeeper Jennifer Gainer

Wings of the World bird keeper Jennifer Gainer has been working at the Cincinnati Zoo for 11 years. Knowing early in life that she had a passion for working with animals, Jennifer attended and was graduated from the  Zoo Academy.  She spent the first eight years of her Zoo career helping in the Nursery and with camel rides (which we no longer do at the Zoo.)  Jennifer is now a full-time keeper working with numerous types of birds. “Birds are a lot different than mammals. They are very mysterious,” which is one of the many reasons why she enjoys working with birds so much.

Jennifer’s day consists of cleaning the polar exhibits, feeding the penguins and hosting animal encounters.

A rewarding and memorable moment in Jennifer’s career was when she hand raised a King Penguin. The penguin needed to be fed every three hours, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m, every day!  Watching all the baby birds grow up is what Jennifer likes most about working at the Zoo.

Jennifer’s favorite animal is the penguin, in spite of the fact that they aren’t always good listeners and will occasionally nip her legs!  She has found a good home in the bird house.

When Jennifer is not caring for baby birds, she is at home spending time with her young daughter.  She is a natural nurturer!  Thank you, Jennifer.