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Zookeepers Are Sharing Their Most Messed Up Behind-The-Scenes Stories (25 Stories)


“We didn’t have mad drama but damn near everyone had slept with everyone. There was a girl from birds that cheated on her boyfriend who was also birds with a guy on small primates. It turned into a whole thing with everyone having an opinion.” — Nixie9


“If you work with the animals there’s a good chance you’ll not be able to have any kind of social life, between the long hours/weekends and the stench. I’ve been kicked out of stores after work because I apparently stunk way worse than I thought I did – even after scrubbing off! And I’m around animals every day, but I still can’t stand when otter / sea lion keepers are around me in “all-hands” meetings. The rotten fish + ferrety otter smell combo is a gagger. Meanwhile, I work with apes, and they say that I smell like I haven’t showed in a decade (again…even after I shower).” — bindobub


“I worked with large tortoises. We had these 5-gallon buckets for cleaning the poop out of enclosures and other buckets for feeding them fresh grass we cut. The first day on the job I took both buckets into the pen and started by dumping out the grass. Then I went around to collect poop. I heard this awful loud grunting and something breaking. One of the 300 lb males tried to bang the bucket in front of visitors and flattened it. He would even follow me around just in case I might leave more innocent buckets unattended.” — DrteethDDS



“The zebras and Przewalski’s horses are ruthless and will tear apart any unfortunate wild kangaroo that dares break into an enclosure. They love the thrill of the chase…and the subsequent kill when they get bored.” — NutkaseCreates


“The most amusing stories were about the orangutans who are wicked smart. Zookeeper trained them to give over items in exchange for food in case they needed to get something from them in the enclosure. But orangutans are smart, and realized if they break things up and hand it back in lots of little pieces they get more food. They disassembled a radio that accidentally got left in the enclosure and when there was an opossum in the enclosure the results were a bit more gruesome.” — 17top



“I spoke to a zookeeper at the national zoo in DC. We were watching another keeper inside the cheetah enclosure and I asked him about the danger involved. He said a cheetah is harmless to an adult human because it only hunts smaller creatures. I asked which creature was the worst to go in with, expecting hippo, elephant, or croc as an answer. Without hesitating he said ‘zebras’ then leaned close and whispered ‘They are the biggest assholes. They will bite and kick for no reason.’ I still think it’s hilarious that of all the teeth and claws out there, it’s striped donkey horses that are the worst.” — Count_Joshoo


“When you’re cleaning underneath the perches, parrots will wait for you to look up before taking a s**t. They have a good aim. Thats how you get s**t in the mouth. Don’t look up.” — BiteyParrots



“Used to work at a zoo, cold weather makes the animals more active so go on a chilly day or first thing in the morning to see the best show from the animals. Also, those free roaming peacocks are really stupid and sometimes go in the lions exhibit and get torn up.” — MapleTopLibrary


“Those free-roaming peacocks are really stupid and sometimes go in the lions exhibit and get torn up.”—MapleTopLibrary


“Our camels will spit if you piss them off, and it’s not just saliva like most people think. You really really really really don’t want to upset our camels if you have any plans the rest of the week, please and thank you!” — leepingphal