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Kenneth Mackey


Fabourite Animals

I Like Them All

Time at Zoo

18 Years


How did you become a zookeeper?
I always had an interest in animals and worked with horses for a time. A friend of mine was an elephant keeper and he helped me get a keeping job in Dublin Zoo. I’ve been a keeper now for 17 years.

How long have you been working in Dublin Zoo?
4 and a half years

What kind of animals do you take care of?
Rhinos and Hippos in the African Plains section.

Which are your favourite animals in the Zoo?
No favourites – I like them all!

Do you have any pets at home?
Racing pigeons.

Can you tell us one of your most exciting moments in the Zoo?
The birth of Zuki, Dublin Zoo’s young southern white rhinoceros, was very exciting. I had been coming back to keep an eye on Ashanti (Zuki’s mum) for the last week of her pregnancy when one night I arrived later than usual. As I arrived I checked the camera to see if all was well and Ashanti was acting normally, but about 15 minutes later she went into labour. Half an hour later we had a new rhino calf. The experience of being present at such an event was second to none.

What do you love most about your job?
Everything! The people are great. We all try to help one another when we can. The animals! No two days are ever the same.

What’s the most difficult thing about your work?
When an animal is sick – I worry about the animals in my care - it can be hard. Animals can’t tell you what is going on.

When you’re not working in the zoo, what other hobbies or interests do you have?
Racing pigeons

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