Meet the Zoo Team
What drew you to this career? What interested me with the zoo was mainly that no day is the same as the next. There's also the ability to be part of the community, the ability to help out animals and promote conservation. Those are some of the things that drew me.
What is your favorite animal? I have a fondness for giraffes and hoofstock.
Who is your favorite animal at Spring River Zoo? The keeper staff.
How did you get to Roswell? I grew up in Kansas City, and worked in a variety of other zoos as a director and curator. Most recently, I was a curator at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Salt Lake City. COVID obviously hit our industry, and I was fortunate enough to find this opening, apply and get it.
Favorite quote: I have a couple. First one is, "If you're on time, you're late." Also, my dad always taught me, "Be lazy by doing it right the first time."
Kenzie Almendariz, Guest Services Associate
Aaron Salinas, Guest Services Associate
Juan Bejarano, Guest Services Associate
Andrea Cole, Zoo Curator
Renee Fair, Zoo Education Coordinator
Cheyenne Hellmers, Zookeeper
What drew you to this career? My passion for helping animals.
What is your favorite animal? I would have to say birds are my favorite animals in general.
Who is your favorite animal at Spring River Zoo? Mango, the Eclectus Parrot. He's a good listener.
How did you get to Roswell? Just lucky.
What else should we know? I'm a big fan of fun facts. For instance, did you know that manatees have nipples on their armpits?
Lyz Foster, Zookeeper
What drew you to this career? Caring for animals is my forte. It's what I do best, and it's what I'm suited for.
What is your favorite animal? Pigs are my favorite; all shapes and sizes. They're very misunderstood, but I get them.
What is your favorite animal at Spring River Zoo? Honestly, I love them all. I can't pick just one because I think they're all special.
Favorite quote: "Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.” – Robert Frost
Ayrin Meeks, Zookeeper
Cori Villers, Zookeeper
What brought you to the zoo? I’ve been working with animals ever since I was young. What brought me to this specific zoo was they took a chance on me, and it’s a little challenging to find a zoo career. I interned at a previous zoo, fell in love with the zoo world and here I am.
What is your favorite animal? My favorite animals of all time would probably be giraffes or sea otters.
What’s your favorite animal at Spring River Zoo? If I had to choose one animal at this zoo, it would probably be the ring-tailed lemurs. I love how resourceful they are. I love watching them do their thing, whether that’s climbing around or making their barking noise.
Favorite quote: “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says, ‘I’m possible.’” – Audrey Hepburn.
Amy Youngren, Zookeeper
Maintenance & Operations Team