Markee Jefferies is Living Her Dream

Markee in the bird show

Markee began her career at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden as a seasonal employee during the summer of 2007. In 2012, she became a full-time zookeeper for the Zoo’s Great American Wings of Wonder Bird Show.

Before each bird show, Markee must clean the birds’ cages, prepare food and feed her feathery friends, and go through the proper training and enrichment to prepare the birds for the show. During the show, Markee can be seen handling parrots, hornbills, raptors and penguins.

Markee and Gary in the Wings of the World bird show

Markee says that her favorite part about being a zookeeper is, “seeing how intelligent the birds are. They all have different personalities.” She also enjoys educating the public about the various types of birds in the show. One of Markee’s fondest zookeeper memories is of the time she got to let the bald eagle, Sam, fly in Great American Ball Park during the national anthem.

When Markee is not working with the birds, she enjoys playing in coed volleyball and softball leagues and taking care of her two pet cats.