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Bill Flanagan

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Bill Flanagan has been in the zookeeping business for over 20 years, mostly focusing on reptiles and amphibians.   At John Ball Zoo he works with a much wider variety of animals including:  lions, bongos, primates, warthogs, and stingrays.  Bill is delighted with the opportunity to expand his taxonomic horizons and is excited to start training work with the chimpanzees.  Despite being a transplanted Ohioan, Bill loves the natural beauty of west Michigan and thinks that "Lake Michigan is beautiful for the second greatest Great Lake."  He lives in Kalamazoo with his wife and two children.

Posts by Bill Flanagan

Frogs and Fake Poop

As April Fools’ Day rolls around, I am occasionally asked what types of pranks zoo keepers pull on each other.  Unfortunately the answer is pretty boring.  Zoo keepers are intensely professional and never pull pranks.  They would never yell “Look out! It’s not coming!” while checking for eggs in the nest of a large crocodilian.  


The wintery weather has me thinking about strategies that some of our native wildlife have for surviving the winter weather.  The gray treefrog has a pretty incredible trick up its sleeve.  Actually, the trick is in its bodily fluids. It is one of several species of North American frogs that make their own antifreeze.