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Julie Katt

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Julie prefers working with mammals with a focus on primates.  She is one of the lead chimpanzee keepers - colobus monkey trainer - and general zookeeping as needed.  Julie is an expert photographer and has many of her pictures published in the ZooNews and on Zoo graphics.  She is an avid traveler having been to South Africa, Morocco, Italy and France to name only a few.  

Posts by Julie Katt

GETTING TO KNOW THE SOUTHERN GROUND HORNBILLS

The John Ball Zoo has a pair of Southern Ground Hornbills in the African Veldt exhibit near the back of the zoo. You many also see Eastern Bongo, a White Backed Vulture, some Egyptian Geese and Guinea Fowl, but I’m betting you will probably remember the Hornbills the best. They are very active in our exhibit whether chasing the other birds in the exhibit, chipmunks and any other animal that found its way into the yard, or digging things up. 

COLOBUS MONKEY TRAINING

Colobus Monkey training

Training animals is probably one of the best parts of a zookeepers’ day. You get to interact with your animals, and it’s for an important purpose. When I say “training” – it does not mean we’re teaching the animals to do tricks. Every behavior we ask our animals to do is for a specific reason. For the most part, it is to help us examine our animals up close without having to anesthetize them for a physical exam. 

IT'S A SMALL (ZOO) WORLD AFTER ALL

Unlike grocery stores, doctor’s offices, gas stations, restaurants and many other types of businesses out there, there are only so many zoos and aquariums in the country. Those institutions who go through the rigorous process of becoming AZA (American Zoo and Aquarium Association) accredited are even less. I would almost liken working at these zoos to working for a professional sports club. Jobs are specialized, whether you are like what the team doctor is to the zoo veterinarian, or the coaching staff is to zoo management personnel. I would love to liken the professional athletes to zookeepers, but in truth we are more like the personal trainers and specialized individual coaches of the zoo world. The closest thing to pro athletes we have are the exotic animals we care for.