Keeper Carmen is one of the newer zoo keepers at the Greensboro Science Center. She graduated college as a vet tech in 2006 and came to us from the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores where she worked mostly with penguins and raptors.
Her past experience has mostly dealt with aquatic animals. She has been a dolphin trainer at Discovery Cove in Orlando. She also has experience training sharks, which she said is actually quite difficult because, despite their reputation as aggressive predators, they are not very food-motivated.
Carmen’s favorite thing about working in the GSC’s Carolina SciQuarium is the variety of animals she gets to work with. On a daily basis, she gets to work with penguins, a sloth, otters, a fishing cat and more. She is particularly fond of working with the penguins because they have such unique personalities. She truly enjoys working at the GSC and credits the likable staff and positive work environment for making the Center such a great place to work.
About Carmen’s Work
A typical day for keepers like Carmen, who work primarily in the SciQuarium, begins with cleaning exhibits. From the cleaning up waste to scrubbing windows, they make sure each exhibit is clean and ready for the animals to enter. They put out fresh water and food, then release the animals into the exhibits from their back holding areas. Overall, this process takes about an hour and a half and is done before the SciQuarium opens to the public.
Next, Carmen and her team prepare fish for the 10:00am penguin feeding (please keep in mind that the feeding schedule is always subject to change). After the feeding, keepers clean the back holding areas, rinse the penguin deck and prepare diets for the animals. At around 1:30pm, they switch out which set of otters are on exhibit so each pair gets some time with the public each day.
The afternoons are typically filled with projects such as repurposing equipment, fixing anything may need attention and completing paperwork. At 3:00pm, the penguins are fed again (again, the schedule is subject to change). After the penguin feeding, keepers finish up projects and get ready to prepare the animals for closing. They prepare and distribute animal enrichment and get the animals into their back holding areas for the night.