Did You Know?
The Chinese name for the Red Panda is "hunho" or firefox.
In 1996, Linda Wager began working at a place she often visited as a kid. She grew up in the area, and the zoo was a memorable part of her childhood. This month, Linda is retiring from her 15-year career as a keeper at Potter Park Zoo. I caught up with her recently to gain some insight on her experiences here.
Q: What is your favorite animal at the zoo?
Linda: The penguins are definitely my favorite. Each has their own unique personality, and they’re a lot of fun to take care of.
Q: Which task did you enjoy most as a zookeeper?
Linda: I really like feeding baby animals; it’s very special to assist in caring for them. Some of the sweetest ones were a bear, tiger, and Zack the yak.
Q: Why is the zoo important to you and your community?
Linda: Potter Park Zoo is Michigan’s oldest zoo and it educates kids on the upbringing and conservation of animals. I think that’s pretty important!
Q: What are some noticeable differences between when you started at PPZ and now?
Linda: There have been many new and improved animal exhibits; my personal favorite is the ostrich and oryx yard.
Q: Do you have plans for your post-zoo future?
Linda: I’m moving to Florida, but I’ll be back in Michigan twice a year. I look forward to visiting my family here, and of course Potter Park Zoo.
Q: Any parting thoughts?
Linda: Potter Park Zoo has been a wonderful environment for me. I really enjoyed working as a team with my fellow zookeeper Dennis; we balanced each other out well! I’ve learned so much here, and I feel very fortunate that I chose a career where I looked forward to coming to work every day.