Meet the Zookeeper Team

Zookeepers Photo Collage

Andrea Cole, Zoo Curator

andrea photoWhat drew you to this career? I’ve always loved being around animals as a kid, and I knew I wanted to work in a career with animals. My junior year of high school I started volunteering at this zoo and found how passionate I am about critters and the joy of educating kids about how amazing animals are.

What is your favorite animal? Any critter in the Procyonidae family. Raccoon and coatimundi are among my favorite in this family.

Who is your favorite animal at Spring River Zoo? Harley the raccoon, he was one of the first critters I hand-raised when I started at the zoo. Since then raccoons have been my favorite critter.

How did you get to Roswell? I’m from Roswell, I’ve lived here my entire life.

What else should we know? I have two dogs named Copper and Pixie and one cat named Toro. I enjoy reading, outdoor adventures and hanging out with my friends.

Favorite quote: “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. Every individual matters.” – Jane Goodall

Ayrin Meeks, Head Zookeeper

ayrin photoWhat drew you to this career? When I was 5 years old, I was watching Animal Planet and a tiger came on the screen and I knew then that’s what I wanted to do. I want to help save endangered animals, teach others about animals, and increase my knowledge and experience of working with exotic animals.

What is your favorite animal? Bret, our mountain lion. He is the first big cat species that I’ve worked with. I’ve worked with Bret for two years and it still excites me to work with him. Q, our Chihuahuan raven. Sadly she passed away this summer, but she was my best friend. I loved working with her because she was funny, curious, intelligent and loved to be around people.

How did you get to Roswell? I was born and raised in Roswell. I grew up coming to this zoo.

What else should we know? I have a degree in zoology from Western New Mexico University. I enjoy reading, going to Disneyland and going to concerts. I have my own mini zoo at home consisting of two dogs, three cats, a hedgehog, a guinea pig, two rats and two mice. Loving and caring for animals is a lifestyle.

Favorite quote:  “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” – Anatole France

Amy Youngren, Zookeeper

amy photoWhat drew you to this career? I was drawn to zookeeping because I love the fun and challenge of working with animals.

What is your favorite animal? My all-time favorite animal is the orangutan.

Who is your favorite animal at Spring River Zoo? I don’t have a favorite at the zoo, I love them all! That being said, I really enjoy working with our pot-bellied pig Kevin because he is so full of joy, and he is very intelligent and eager to learn.

How did you get to Roswell? I moved from Washington state.

What else should we know?I have a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Washington State University. I enjoy kayaking and hiking with my canine son Dax. I also love to travel with Dax and explore new places in nature; we have been to every state in the U.S. and most Canadian provinces.

Scott Sherwood, Zookeeper

scott photoWhat drew you to this career? It was by chance, an opportunity came available and I ended up loving working with animals.

What is your favorite animal? Birds of Prey

Who is your favorite animal at Spring River Zoo? Great horned owl named Frodo, because she was one of the first critters I got to raise.

How did you get to Roswell? I was born in Albuquerque, but lived in Dexter and Artesia most of my life.

What else should we know? Love to read and history! I have one daughter named Laura.

Caitlyn Lenz, Education Coordinator

caitlyn photoWhat drew you to this career? I always wanted to work with and build relationships with animals that don’t speak the same language as me. I also enjoy educating the public about animals.

What is your favorite animal? North American river otters

Who is your favorite animal at Spring River Zoo? Blue our hybrid wolf. Blue is very interactive and affectionate.

How did you get to Roswell? I moved to Albuquerque from Colorado, and from Albuquerque to Roswell.

What else should we know? I have a bachelor’s degree in biology from Colorado State University. I studied abroad in Roatan, Honduras, I learned about dolphin behavior with a dolphin pod. I liking to go hiking and camping with friends and family.