Tanganyika is a wonderful and interactive place, but it didn’t just become that way over night! The people who work at Tanganyika are the ones who keep this whole place continuing on it’s path to becoming one of the best zoo experiences in America! So we want to give credit where it is due by giving some of our most talented zoo keepers a chance to talk about what they do and who they are! This also gives you a chance to understand the hard work and creativity that goes into making TWP operate this well from day to day. This month I talked to Cory Caruthers about his experience as a TWP keeper.
How long have you worked at TWP?
One and a half years. Since December 2016.
Which animals do you care for?
I am a primate keeper. I help take care of our ring-tailed lemurs, black howler monkeys, white handed gibbons, mandrills, colobus monkeys, debrazza monkeys, and the red tailed guenons.
Who is your favorite animal in Tanganyika?
I like the howler monkeys. They’re my favorite group. I don’t have a favorite... well, I guess maybe Enid. She’s my favorite of the three, she’s the small brown one.
If you could add an animal to the Tanganyika experience what animal would you add?
It’s either black bears or grey wolves. Those are my two top favorite animals. Yeah, I would love it if we added a canine routine.
If you weren’t a zookeeper what would you be?
An exercise physiologist. I’m studying to get my masters degree in exercise science. I haven’t yet decided what I would want to use it for, but it does open a large new door of opportunities for me.
What is your favorite Tanganyika memory?
Sitting in with the cheetah cubs when they were first born. So when they were little tiny and we had to help them get exercise.
What is your favorite food they serve at the pavilion deli?
Oh... tough question. I eat the hotdogs the most, but I do like the pulled pork sandwich.
What first inspired you to become a zookeeper?
Steve Irwin. Yes, I watched him on Animal Planet when I was younger all the time. He’s the one that inspired me to work in conservation. When I was little visited a ton of zoos all over the United States and just fell in love with it. Fell in love with the animals.
What is your favorite event we do at Tanganyika?
Probably the Tiger Trot. I love running and I’m hoping to participate this year. I really enjoy the Tiger Trot. It’s cool that we do that for the runners. You don’t see businesses often putting on marathons like that.
What animal do you feel you are the most like?
I don’t know. It would depend on which animal eats the most. I don’t know... rhinos eat a lot. It probably is a bear, a brown bear also known as the grizzly bear. I feel like they’re easy going but also strong when it’s needed. They also eat a whole lot just so they can hibernate.
Thank you Cory for being a really fun and calming presence at TWP. You care for and love your animals so deeply and it shows in the way you talk about them. You treat these creatures like family and you are just as loyal to your team. Thank you for being here providing and building this great expereince for the public and for helping connect the people to the nature world that surrounds them. You're great!