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Jasmine Rosario: The Artistic Zookeeper

Categories: Zookeeper Profile

The Sacramento Zoo is fortunate to have a passionate and talented team. One such person is Jasmine Rosario.

Zookeeper Jasmine holds her painting of Kamau and Cleo in front of the lion exhibitJasmine is a relief or float keeper at the Sac Zoo. She is cross trained to help in multiple animal areas, particularly ungulates, reptiles, carnivores, okapi/cheetah, and birds. As a zookeeper, Jasmine’s goal is to provide and ensure the best possible care for all of the animals. As you can imagine, every day is different from the last. Jasmine’s day-to-day responsibilities include feeding, cleaning, enriching, training, and monitoring the health of the animals, as well as educating visitors about the animals and inspiring them to care about animal conservation in the wild.

Jasmine has been a zookeeper for four years. Her journey to becoming a zookeeper began when she was just five years old. Jasmine lived in San Diego with her family and visited the San Diego the Zoo and Safari Park almost every weekend. Ever since then, Jasmine kept her goal in mind and worked tirelessly to achieve it.

Jasmine has worked with many animals, but red pandas “stole her heart.” They became a favorite after Jasmine started working at the Sacramento Zoo.

Jasmine’s favorite zoo memories are ones where the entire animal care department comes together to work as a team to achieve a goal. Jasmine reminisced on the Sacramento Zoo reopening after the Covid closures last year. “I had the best time working with everyone to get the zoo looking nice, clean, and ready for visitors again. I love the comradery, the laughs, and the spontaneous dance moves that comes out of our hardworking team.”

In addition to being a rock star zookeeper, Jasmine is also a talented artist with fifteen years of experience. She specializes in oil paint. Jasmine says that “It’s such a dynamic and forgiving medium. You can do a lot of interesting things with it!”

Jasmine donated one of her oil pieces to the Sacramento Zoo’s 2021 Online Auction. This was a collaboration piece with the zoo’s lions, Kamau and Cleo. The lions painted the background and Jasmine painted the lions’ portrait on top.

You can also find Jasmine’s artistic touch in the Reptile House. She painted a few of the exhibit backgrounds, with the boa constrictor’s diorama being the largest and most involved piece.

Jasmine wants everyone to know that “everything we do at the zoo is made possible by you, our visitors and donors. We would not be able to provide the exceptional care for our animals that we do without community support, and I personally want to thank you! I hope in return the zoo has inspired you in some way to make a positive change for wildlife and the planet.”

Learn more about lions on our blog. Read all about Sam Counts’ investigation on the behavioral effect of music on lions. Or perhaps you’d like to relive the moment when Kamau, the Sac Zoo’s male lion, joined the zoo in 2008.

Want to learn more about the art at the Sacramento Zoo? Take a look behind-the-scenes of creating our crocodile statue that sits near the cheetah exhibit. Find out artists do to retouch and reseal the conservation carousel.