As a way of giving our fans and followers a peek behind the scenes of the inner most working of Tanganyika Wildlife Park we have begun interviewing a zoo keeper each month. The duties of being the first keeper interviewed fell to the capable hands of the tall and pleasant Eric Looft.
How long have you worked at Tanganyika? Eleven months. A year in October.
What do you do here? I work with the giraffes and the rhinos. I had an internship in 2009 during the summer and then I started working with giraffes. I worked in old barn for a little bit with the zebras. Then I went to primary for giraffes and now I work with giraffes and rhinos.
Who is your favorite animal here? Well, we’re not supposed to pick favorites but… It’s tough to choose. I’d have to go with Travis the black rhino.
If you could add an animal to the Tanganyika experience? Elephants. They’re my favorite animal and I want to work with them eventually.
If you weren’t a zoo keeper what job would you have?I’ve actually done this one before: a park ranger.
Favorite meal served at the pavilion deli? It’s a close tie between the pulled pork sandwiches and the mini hot dogs. They taste way better than the regular, full hot dogs.
Visitor Question: What do you do with all the poop? We have a big pile in the back. We call it the dump pile.
How old were you when you knew you wanted to become a zoo keeper? I always wanted to be one. I was a really outdoorsy kid. My parents used to just drop me off at zoos when I was ten, eleven, twelve, and I would just sit there and watch animals all day till they would come pick me up.
Which animal are you most like? I would like to think that it would be something majestic. Something like a rhino or an elephant or tiger. But to be honest it would probably be a giraffe. They’re still strong and tall and big, but their kind of air-heady a lot of the time.
A special thanks to Eric for all the care and attention he puts into the animals and humans of Tanganyika Wildlife Park. Thanks man. You’re doing great.