From the Rainforest to the Indo-Pacific, our diverse array of exhibits are home to thousands of plants and animals. In celebration of National Zookeeper Appreciation Week, we’re introducing you to some of the stellar staff that keep our exhibits and living collection in perfect health!
Meet Amanda Gensemer, a Herpetologist:
How long have you been at the Aquarium?
I have been at the Aquarium for a little over 3 years.
What interested you to pursue your current career path?
I have always loved animals, but especially looking for frogs and salamanders in the woods near my house when I was growing up. Then, when I was in college I did an internship here at the Aquarium with the reptiles and amphibians in the Upland Tropical Rainforest exhibit and knew that it was a field I had to pursue.
Briefly describe your day-to-day:
First, I take care of the Hidden Life exhibits, which includes misting all of the exhibits, feeding the frogs, lizard and snake, and doing a count for all of the animals out there. Next I check on the Yellow-footed tortoises, Central American wood turtle and Iguana, feed them, and clean their habitat areas.
Usually my afternoons are spent taking care of our cricket colony. This is an integral part of our operation, because we breed our own pinhead crickets and those pinheads are then used to feed our entire poison dart frog collection.
Favorite Aquarium memory?
The first time that I saw one of our Imitating poison dart frogs, Ranitomeya imitator, carrying a tadpole on his back!
Next big project you’re working on?
A misting system for the Hidden Life exhibits.
Dogs and poison dart frogs.
Stay tuned for more National Zookeeper Appreciation Week features!