856 at the San Francisco Zoo

TEAMSTERs: Alexandra Brown, Cheyenee Coles, Christina maillard, AMber musante, dayna sherwood, megan tunheim, 

Worksite: San Francisco Zoo

Years on the job: 61 (collectively)

Job titles: Animal Keepers

Getting started: "When I was a little kid, I always wanted to work at a zoo. So then I volunteered when I was 12 through 4H and FFA (Future Farmers of America) programs because I didn't live near a zoo." —Christina Maillard, Children's Zoo Animal Keeper

"I formally had a very different career path. I actually worked in the educational field with children and then I volunteered at the San Francisco Zoo and fell in love with it and decided to become an animal keeper because of it." —Cheyenne Coles, Primate Keeper

Daily life at the zoo:  "In the morning we meet with our curator and discuss anything that's going on, any changes in health or something that's going be happening that day, and then we go check on all our animals first thing. Everybody gets fed their breakfast, and then we start cleaning. Lots of cleaning. Cleaning of yards, cleaning of night quarters. Then we're with the primates. They get fed throughout the day, and then there's more cleaning. " —Dayna Sherwood, Primate Keeper

"I am responsible for the daily lives of our koalas, kangaroos, and one emu. Working with the animals and being there for their different, various milestones and achievements is the best part of the job. For example, today I had a wallaby take food from my hand for the first time ever, so that was very exciting." —Megan Tunheim, Marsupial Keeper

Dedication to the animals: "In the zoo field, there's a lot of conferences that happen for Old World monkeys or chimpanzees. A co-worker of mine and I are going to the chimpanzee conference in Shreveport, Louisiana in April. This is something we've both decided to do on our own. We're going to take our vacation time to go and do this because we love our animals and we want to know more about them. We're planning on expanding our chimpanzee and troop, so this will help us get a better understanding of how we can take care of them." —Dayna Sherwood, Primate Keeper

Rewarding work: "I'm the red barn keeper in the children's zoo, so I take care of all of the goats, a ram, all of the pigs, all of the chickens, the mice and the fish. I spend a lot of time in the barnyard because it is one of the few areas in the zoo where the public interacts with our animals. So we have to be there and make sure everything is going smoothly. I love working outside and working with animals, but one of the other things I love is actually when we have kids come in and they're a little unsure about the goats, but they end up loving them and petting them and feeding them. I love seeing that." —Amber Musante, Children's Zoo Animal Keeper

On being Teamsters: "I fell in love with the staff here and a lot of the animals through my volunteer time here, and I also wanted to become a part of this organization because we have a union. There are a lot of benefits to working at a zoo that has a union. I love being part of the union and love all the support I receive from being a part of it. " —Cheyenne Coles