Keeper Confidential | Dennis

We’re half way through National Keeper Week, but still celebrating! Our Keepers spend most of their time with the animals or talking about the animals with visitors, so our Keeper Confidential blogs are a great way for our Zoo Fans to get to know our staff on a deeper level. If you ever want to take a few minutes to talk with a Keeper, be sure to check out our Keeper Chat schedule for upcoming opportunities to learn more about both our animals and staff. For now, let’s meet our next Virginia Zoo Keeper.

MEET Dennis.


Q1. Why did you choose to become a Zoo Keeper?

A1. A former Keeper approached me to apply at the Zoo. He brought me an application, I filled it out and he turned it in for me. Here I am. It wasn’t part of my plan, it just happened.

Q2. How long have you been a Zoo Keeper?

A2. I started at the Virginia Zoo in January 2000.

Dennis on a conservation trip in New Mexico in 2017 to save Bolson tortoises.

Q3. What is your favorite thing about being a Keeper?

A3. I like working with a variety of animals.

Q4. Is there a particular animal at the Virginia Zoo you feel like you have a meaningful connection with?

A4. Actually, no. Working with animals every day makes it so I try to distance myself from personal connections with the animals. Treating them in a certain way can put Keepers in harms way. I like to think that I treat all of the animals in my care with respect and work around them in the safest manner possible.

Q5. If you could be any animal in the world, what would you want to be and why?

A5. Since I’m already a type of animal and I like being me, I might just choose to be one with more money.