Can a trip to the Zoo be life changing? Yes, just ask Jane Anne Franklin.
As a pre-veterinary student, Jane Anne was ready to spend her career taking care of animals. A love of animals has been with her since childhood. While in college, she worked as a veterinary tech and took a course to learn how to train dogs.
On a fateful day in 1990, Jane Anne found her true calling. She came to the Zoo with her college class and met with former Zoo Director/veterinarian Dr. Bill Foster and other staff members. She learned about using training and the science behind it to ensure that animals are being provided with the best possible care. When she heard that the Zoo was doing a formal training program with the seals and sea lions, she immediately knew that the Louisville Zoo was where she was destined to work. That night, she applied for a job and soon after started as the Zoo’s night keeper. Jane Anne has dedicated her entire career to the Zoo’s animals and is now the Curator of Mammals, overseeing training and enrichment.
To Jane Anne, “training is a crucial part of an animal’s life at the Louisville Zoo.” Training strengthens the bond between Zoo keepers and animals and also provides the opportunity for daily health assessments. Keepers pay close attention to an animal’s behavior during training sessions to support the overall health of that animal. Signals for changes in care can be obvious but are typically more subtle. If a signal is observed, keepers will talk with co-workers and the Zoo veterinarian on a possible course of action or treatment.
Guests attending daily animal presentation sessions learn facts specific to the animals at the Zoo, conservation activities, and observe why these daily training sessions are so important. You may even see Jane Anne’s training in action.
This is the story of one of the many keepers who have dedicated their lives to making the Louisville Zoo the best home for the 1,200 animals in our care. To support them and the work of the Zoo, please consider a gift to the Louisville Zoo Fund.