THE ZOO IN FOREST PARK & EDUCATION CENTER STAFF

Sarah with Belvedere, our baby Nigerian Dwarf Goat.

Sarah Tsitso | Executive Director 

413-733-2251, ext. 302        sarah@forestparkzoo.com

Sarah started at The Zoo in September of 2017.  She was born and raised in Western Massachusetts, living in Ludlow, Palmer and Springfield before moving to Longmeadow in 2013. Sarah attended Simmons University in Boston, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English and received her Master’s Degree from Bay Path University in Longmeadow, where she studied nonprofit management.

Sarah has been married to Jason (her high school sweetheart) for 21 years. They have one daughter, Vivian, who will turn 15 this summer. Sarah is an avid reader, and is never without a book somewhere within arm’s reach. When Sarah is not at The Zoo she enjoys spinning, travel and learning something new every day.

Favorite Zoo Memory: "In general, I love watching our young campers come back each season. They truly love our animals, our staff and this place. They become part of the larger Zoo family. Watching these children learn, grow and cultivate their appreciation for nature fills me with hope and joy."

Emily G. Bouwer | Curator

413-733-2251, ext. 301    emily@forestparkzoo.com

Emily started at The Zoo as a high school intern in 2007. She was hired as a keeper in early 2008, and worked seasonally for a while, before becoming full time staff in 2010. Emily has lived in Granville, MA her entire life and loves it! Growing up in the woods lead to many wildlife encounters which sparked her interest in the animal world and rehabiliation work. In 2013, she became licensed as a wildlife rehabilitator, a practice she maintains on a small-scale outside of The Zoo.

At home, Emily and her husband, Dylan, have amenagerie of their own. Current residents include two cats, Whisper and Fenster, an Amazon parrot named Timmy, and Magic, their tenacious house-pig. They also have some squirrels getting ready to be released, and a long-term pet-sitting situation with a friend's dog. So, there’s never a dull (or quiet) moment in their house!

If I Could Be Any Animal: “It’s really hard to pick! But I would probably be a bird. Probably a raven or crow. They’re very family oriented birds, and pretty versatile in their diet/habitat, so I woudn’t need to hunt other animals…junk food is still on the table, and I could live anywhere. AND I would be able to fly. Sounds pretty good to me.”

Emily with our Dromedary Camel, Max.
Caroline with our animal ambassador, Cherry the Opossum.

Caroline Cay Adams | Programs Zookeeper

413-733-2251, ext. 305     education@forestparkzoo.com

Caroline joined The Zoo team in May 2018 and brings over thirteen years of environmental and animal education experience to her role as Programs Zookeeper. Caroline earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2014 and continued her education at The University of Hartford, graduating with a Master’s Degree in Education in 2017. She spends her free time at home with her three cats (Granger, Alastor, and Emilia) and her German shepherd puppy, Steele.

When she is not hosting education programs at The Zoo, you can find Caroline spending time with some of her favorite residents throughout The Zoo, including Ella the Umbrella cockatoo, Cherry the opossum, and raccoons, Thor and Loki.

Fun Fact About Me:  I am a massive Harry Potter fan - in case the names of two of my cats didn’t give it away! I visited Harry Potter World in Florida in 2016 and it was a magical (pun intended) trip. I’m a proud and outspoken Hufflepuff! Keep your eyes peeled around The Zoo for Harry Potter themed animal names!”

Brooke Johnson | Development Associate                   

413-733-2251, ext. 304     brooke@forestparkzoo.com

Brooke began working at The Zoo in March of 2019.  She was born and raised in Northampton, MA and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Bridgewater State University.  After college, Brooke chased warmer weather to Florida where she met and married her husband, Curtley.  She returned to Northampton where she now resides with her husband, her 11 month old daughter, Harper and her Siberian husky, Kota. 

When Brooke is not working at The Zoo she can be found at Northampton’s dog park with her daughter and husky.  She enjoys walking outside and being with her family.

Favorite Part About Working at The Zoo“I came to The Zoo with a SERIOUS fear of snakes.  When I began working closer with my team, I began working closer with all animals – even snakes.  Our educational programs really showed me how misunderstood snakes are by some people, including myself.  Now, I am more than comfortable around snakes – even holding Colby, our large Ball Python!” 

Brooke with Colby, the Ball Python.
Eric with our Six-Banded Armadillo, Ally.

Eric Schroder | Facilities Manager   

eric@forestparkzoo.com

Eric started at The Zoo as an intern in 2017 while he finished his Bachelor of Science in Biology.  Before completing his schooling, Eric served in the Army.  He always enjoyed his time outside, exploring the surrounding areas for new plants and animals.  Eric grew up in CT and has fond memories of visiting Forest Park as a child.

Eric balances his time at The Zoo between updating our facilities, assisting in animal care and leading many of our educational programs.  Eric really is a jack of all trades!  

Favorite Part About Working at The Zoo: “I enjoy the ability to be creative when I build enclosures and enrichments for the animals.”

Stephanie Hodges | Guest Relations Manager   

stephanie@forestparkzoo.com

Stephanie started at The Zoo in May of 2018.  She is originally from Springfield, MA but moved to Orlando, FL with her family.  Stephanie has been back in MA for the past two years and currently resides in Wilbraham with her husband, Alan, a local firefighter.  Together, they have two children, Quincy (4) and Salem (2), and are expecting their third child this Thanksgiving!

When Stephanie is not at The Zoo, she can be found “in full mommy mode”, sharing adventures with her children and husband. 

Why Do I Love The Zoo:  “I have fond memories of growing up in Springfield and visiting The Zoo as a child.  I love the intimacy of our zoo and the close knit community it has created.”

Stephanie with Logan, one of our Ferrets.
Mary Lou with Lakota, our Arctic Wolf Hybrid.

Mary Lou Rice | Bookkeeper 

accounting@forestparkzoo.com

Mary Lou began working at The Zoo in July of 2018.  She was born in Springfield, in the Hungry Hill neighborhood.  After marrying, Mary Lou lived in Chicopee for about 10 years, then moved to Ludlow around 2000.  Her husband was a Chicopee firefighter and an avid collector of antique cars, so she found herself traveling often to car shows and swap meets.  Mary Lou found a passion for traveling and has been to the Caribbean, Mexico, England, Ireland, Scotland, and even Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

Mary Lou stays busy outside The Zoo, working part-time at Jewish Family Service and volunteering at Dakin in Springfield as a dog walker.  She has been a dog owner most of her life but recently tried fostering cats.  Now she lives at home with her “foster fail” newly adopted cat. 

If I Could Be Any Animal: "Lemur.  Females are in charge and it looks like it only takes one or two screams to keep the boys in line, then I can spend the day sitting back eating grapes!"

Rachel LeMontagne | Zookeeper

Rachel started at The Zoo in 2014.  Before coming to The Zoo she studied Captive Wildlife Care & Education at Unity College in Maine.  Rachel has extensive experience with all types of wildlife: studying marine life in Long Island Sound, studying populations of Northern Right Whales in the Bay of Fundy and assisting with trail maintenance in Oregon.  

Rachel gets her love for nature and wildlife from her parents.  At home they live with their "mini zoo," which includes Duncan the dog, Wesley the cat, Pippin the rabbit, Bebe and Bangarang the birds, and Garrus the snake.   When Rachel is not preparing diets for our animals here at The Zoo, she is doing it at home for her own animals! In her spare time she enjoys building lego sets, playing video games and annoying her parents with Star Wars Facts. 

Fun Fact About Me: "I swam in Crater Lake which is considered an active volcano."

Rachel with Poncho, our Blue & Gold Macaw.
Brie, "mokeying around" with our Ring-Tailed Lemur family.

Gabrielle “Brie” Navone | Zookeeper

Brie started at The Zoo as an intern in 2016.  After completing her internship, Brie stayed on our team as a volunteer for the winter.  She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Westfield State University in 2018.  She returned to The Zoo and began working alongside our CIT’s (Crew in Training) and also in the ticket booth, gift shop and as a camp counselor.  Brie’s love and deep connection with our animals led to her joining our Animal Care Staff. 

Brie was born and raised in Southwick, MA where she currently resides with her cat, Malibu and Ball Python, Gus. In her free time, Brie enjoys staying active whether that is at the gym or on a long hike.  However, nothing beats staying home and watching movies with her cat. 

Why Do I Love The Zoo:  “I love The Zoo because of the opportunity to create relationships with animals that I have always admired.  Caring for these animals really gives me an opportunity to embrace each individual's unique personality. The best feeling is learning what an animal truly loves (whether it be an enrichment item, certain food, or even a belly rub!) and being able to be the one to give them what makes them truly happy.  Nothing makes me happier than when our animals are happy. I can’t believe how lucky I am that this is my job and how lucky I am to love what I do. I really feel like I have the power to make a difference in these animals’ lives, especially the ones who might not have had the best start in their life before they came to The Zoo.”

Kenneth "Kenny" White | Zoo Educator

Kenny first came to The Zoo as a zoo camper in 2011 and has worked his way up in our ranks.  He enjoyed three summers of Zoo Camp before joining our Crew in Training (CIT) Program.  Kenny officially joined The Zoo team in 2016 and he has been part of our Education Team ever since!  Kenny spends most of his time at The Zoo serving as our Zoo Camp Assistant Director and hosting our educational programs.

Kenny is originally from Longmeadow, MA where he currently lives with his dog and two cats.  He is studying at UMass Amherst.  

Why Do I Love The Zoo: "We give children opportunities to see and meet animals that they never knew existed or have only seen in pictures.  The opportunity to instill the appreciation for our planet and the animal kingdom is why I love The Zoo." 

Kenny holding Albert, our Striped Skunk.
Savannah with Patty, our Pot-Bellied Pig.

Savannah Marcotte | Zoo Educator 

Savannah joined The Zoo team as a gift shop attendant in 2014. She currently assists in both our Education and Animal Care Departments, spending most of her time as a lead counselor with our Zoo Camp. She is currently working toward her Bachelors in Business Management with plans to continue to a Master’s program. Savannah loves spending time with her two cats, Mya and Malakai, and training her Morgan horse, Gabby.

Favorite Zoo Animal: "My favorite animal at The Zoo is Patty, our Pot-Bellied Pig (as if my photo with her didn't give it away). I love Patty’s personality, energy, and ability to make anyone fall in love with her. Patty and I share a close bond and I love watching her tail wag whenever I approach." 

Dr. Alastor Moody, PhD in Integrated Pest Management

Professor Moody joined The Zoo's team in June of 2018, when he took over as Director of Pest Management. He was raised in Granville, MA and developed an appreciation for wildlife health at a young age. He is passionate about his role at The Zoo and advocates an environmentally friendly approach to pest control.

When he is not busy working, Moody enjoys bird watching, trying exotic foods and staying on top of fashion trends. He is also a hobby entomologist and a competitive Hide-and-Seek player.

Favorite Part About Working at The Zoo: Afternoon siestas.

Moody showing off his hide-and-seek skills.
Robert with Albert, the Striped Skunk.

Ever wonder who takes the BEAUTIFUL photos of our animals? 

Robert Harris Photography! 

Robert is a dedicated volunteer here at The Zoo who assists the Animal Care Team with various duties, as well as finding time for his photography.  He also spends his time working in our Ticket Booth and Gift Shop. 
Robert sells his photos in our Gift Shop.  More than half the proceeds from his work go toward our animal care. 
 

 

 

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