HomeQ&A with a zookeeper: meet Matt Cline, team carnivores!
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Q&A with a zookeeper: meet Matt Cline, team carnivores!

Categories: Zookeeper Profile

In celebration of National Zookeeper Appreciation Week, we are going to showcase the hard work, passion and dedication of our animal care providers! The zookeepers at the Sacramento Zoo work incredibly hard to help everyone learn the best possible ways to take care of the animals here. We always want our team members to exhibit our core values and in doing so, we can learn what is necessary for the conservation of each one of our animal residents. There are nearly 500 animals representing over 125 unique species at the Sacramento Zoo and our qualified zookeepers bring their experience, knowledge and devotion to provide the highest quality of care for the animals. Our animals are all extremely unique and have their own specific preferences. Our zookeepers work passionately and tirelessly to ensure that those needs are met. This week, we are giving some much-deserved appreciation to the keepers of the Sacramento Zoo by profiling a member of our team each day through Friday! They will share some of their favorite stories, experiences and how they got started in their fields. Stay tuned!

Let’s Meet Matt Cline!

Q: What’s your current position? What does your day-to-day entail?
I am a full-time relief keeper. I am an animal care taker for multiple sections depending on the day, cleaning, feeding, giving enrichments and helping with exams.

Q: Where did you grow up?
Central California, Atwater. Near Merced.

Q: Do you have a favorite memory?
After Rocket was born, I was involved in his first vet exam. I was holding this newborn baby giraffe in my hands with a few others while vets performed his exam.

Q: What’s the most challenging thing about being a zookeeper?
Staying on task. You always want to do everything, and you have to figure out what task has priority over others.

Q: What’s something you want everyone to know?
Always keep a positive attitude!

Q: Why do you think it is important to support the Sacramento Zoo?
We do a lot of work for conservation efforts in the wild that people aren’t always aware about. The goal is not just the animals here but keeping the animals in the wild safe as well.

Q: What motivated you to want to become a zookeeper?
I’ve always liked animals and always wanted to work with them. I volunteered here and was able to knock both out with one stone.

Q: What is your favorite animal?

Q: What is the best part about being a keeper besides, obviously, the animals?
Getting to work with a team that cares so much about what we all do. We all have the same goal so it’s nice working with people that work hard to achieve it.

Q: What is the first zoo you worked/volunteered at?
Sacramento Zoo!

Q: What advice would you give someone who wants to become a zookeeper?
You should know your stuff and your animals, don’t pretend to know. Do as much volunteering as you can.

Q:  What is the most fun thing you’ve done at the Sacramento Zoo?
The flamingo roundup; everyone that works here involved in animal care gets together and they help get all the flamingos to their annual veterinary exams. It’s pretty entertaining every time!