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Joe Byrne

Zookeeper (retired)

Fabourite Animals

Elephants and Hippos

Time at Zoo

48 Years


How did you become a zookeeper?
I always had an interest in animals. I started working on the grounds and then became a keeper.

How long have you been working in Dublin Zoo?
48 years

What section of Dublin Zoo do you work in?
African Plains

Which are your favourite animals in the Zoo?
Elephants and hippos

Do you have any pets at home?
A dog.

Can you tell us one of your most exciting/most memorable moments in the Zoo?
Too numerous to mention! The first birth of a chimpanzee and the first white rhino born in the 1960s. It was the first zoo born rhino in Europe. And of course all the hippo calves born to Linda!

What do you love most about your job?
Working with the animals

What’s the most difficult thing about your work?
Losing animals that you worked with and built up a bond with. It’s like losing a member of your family.

When you’re not working in the zoo, what other hobbies or interests do you have?
I love sport, especially the GAA, I go to a lot of games. I also like Wildlife films on TV.

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