Keepers of the Central Park Zoo with the Sea Lions

This page is dedicated to the Keepers of the Central Park Zoo. The Keepers are very special people. The one thing that shines through for everyone to see is their love of the animals. Just look at the faces of the keepers on this page. They work very hard to care for the animals, give them enrichment, and to train them in behaviors. The animals in return, and for all visitors to the Central Park Zoo to marvel at, unfailingly offer an unspoken thanks for the devotion and caring that's shown to them each and every day.

Keeper Raymond with April

Keeper Raymond sharing Christmas with April. The keepers use both hand and voice commands.

Photo by Ruth Fremson
A picture of the Keepers who do such a wonderful job taking care of our Sea Lions. 5 September 2011.

Sea Lion Keepers

Nora, Diana, Brian, and Tamisha.

Keeper Gretchen Keeper Gretchen and Scooter.

Guides Linda and Joan Guides, Linda and Joan at Sea Lion narration.

Keeper Kyle with Othello Keeper Kyle with Othello.

Guide Linda with Othello Guide Linda with Othello.

Keeper Juan with Bruiser Keeper Juan with Bruiser.

Diane and Nicky Keeper Diane receives a kiss from seal Nicky.

Keeper Tamisha and Muntjac Keeper Tamisha and Muntjac.

Keeper Heather Gordon

Keeper Heather Gordon of Forest Hills in front of the Snow Leopards.

This is by Barbara Arnstein of the Queens Tribune:
Snow leopards have come to the Central Park Zoo. The new Allison Maher Stern Snow Leopard Exhibit, three years in the making, holds two females and a male. Their keeper, Heather Gordon of Forest Hills, has spent several hours a day for months bonding with the endangered felines and making them feel right at home in their environment of heated rocks, cool caves, and evergreens. "Now they are coming to the front of their holding area to solicit interaction from us," Gordon said, which they didn't appear to do upon their immediate arrival at the zoo." From names submitted by schoolchildren, two were drawn at random, and so the females are Zoe and Chocolate. The male is Bo, like the White House dog. The beautiful trio, with smoky gray fur adorned with black spots and rosettes, appear to be nose-to-nose with visitors behind two lookouts, one of glass and one of steel wire. They are under a high tent of steel, a woven mesh that looks light although it is very strong.

Keeper Alex

Keeper Alex with Scooter doing a flipper hand stand.

Keeper Alex and Gretchen

Gretchen and Alex ready to give the sea lions a cake to celebrate CPZ 20th anniversary re-opening.

Keeper Tumeca

Keeper Tumeca holding dinner.

Keeper Amaury

Keepers are responsible to keeping records of times of feedings and amounts that are eaten.

Keeper Amaury

Keeper, Amaury Quinones

Mark and Clarice

Keeper Mark (now at the Queens Zoo) teaching Clarisse to sit still.

Rob and Scooter
Keeper Rob with Scooter.

Rob and April
Keeper Rob checking Aprils eyes and ear flaps.

Keeper Keith
Keeper Keith with Scooter. Scooter our oldest sea lion at age 20. Here she is on the top of the rock doing a fish hold. She will hold that fish until she gets a signal from her Keith. Then she is rewarded with a another fish. As you can see, there is a great deal of trust between the sea lions and their keepers.

Luis and April
Keeper Luis with April. Notice the use of hand signals. She is showing him her mouth so he can check out teeth and gums.

Keeper Celia with sea lion.

Keeper Chuck sharing a special moment with one of our sea lions.

Yula with Breezy and Seaweed
Assistant Curator, Yula with Breezy and Seaweed. These two sea lions lived into their thirties, thanks to the great care from their keepers. They are both missed by the keepers and the visiting public.

Gretchen and Clarisse
Keeper Gretchen with Clarisse. You may also see her feeding the Harbor Seals as well. That is Clarisse on the top rock. Sea lions are very agile climbers.

Keeper Rich
Keeper Rich is checking Clarisse's rear flippers. Sea lions have claws in their rear flippers.

Keepers of the Central Park Zoo with the Penguins
Rob and the Penquins
Keeper Rob with the penguins. Notice the keepers wear life jackets in this enclosure since the rocks are slippery

Rob and the Penquins
Keeper Rob with penguins. Many keepers take care of more than one animal. Here is Rob feeding one of our 60 penguins

Luis and the Penquins
Keeper Luis with penguins. All the penguins at the Central Park zoo are hand fed. One keeper has a list of the penguins while the other feeds them individually.

Keepers of the Central Park Zoo
Alpaca Shower
Keeper Martina cooling off the Alpacas at the Children's Zoo.

Heather and Oliver
Keeper Heather with new Vietnamese Pot Belly Pigs, Otis and Oliver. This photograph was taken when they first arrived. They are now handsome grown pot belly pigs.

Marmoset and Keeper
Keeper Raymond feeding a marmoset. The keepers wear masks and gloves so that they don't spread germs to the animals. These little primates are clicker trained. When they do the desired behavior, the are rewarded with a mealy worm.

Keeper Martina in the rainforest with one of many beautiful birds that live there. The special treat of the day-mealy worms,

Here is Keeper Pria, weighing her small charges. She gets them on the scale using the clicker and some treats. She is wearing a mask so that no germs would be transferred to the animals.

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Joan is available for book talks with slides, for both the Central Park Zoo and The New York City Zoos and Aquarium books.

Please contact her through e-mail or

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Web site created by Paul McCubbin from a design by Haran