Episode 73: How Do You Keep Zoo Animals Happy?

Meet the Expert: Susan Summers, Zookeeper and Wildlife Biologist

Susan Summer

Susan has had a career as a zookeeper, wildlife biologist, and environmental educator. Science and nature have always been part of her life. She worked as a zookeeper for the Ecotarium (formerly known as the Worcester Science Center), the Franklin Park Zoo, and the Virginia Living Museum. She enjoyed talking so much about the animals she pursued her Master’s in Education and spent twenty years teaching kids and adults all about science and nature. She wrote articles for the Virginia Daily Press Newspaper about some of her favorite topics and had articles published in the NSTA Science Scope Journal. [One was about her research project with middle school students and turtles.] When she got the opportunity, she assisted with research projects across the United States; studying bears, birds, and bats – to name a few. She also pursued some of her own in conjunction with the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and the Organization for Tropical Studies. Wherever there’s a bird, a bat, a bear, Susan will be there. Now she’s working to publish books about her favorite nature themes and animals, hopefully, soon you’ll find one of her books on the shelf. Please feel free to contact her on her webpage. https://susan-inez-summers.weebly.com/


Susan Summer and a Great Horned Owl

Susan with a Great Horned Owl

Susan Summer zookeeper with python

Susan with her python friend

Programs to for Kids to Learn More! 


San Diego Zoo





Cincinnati Zoo




National Zoo




Activities for Kids to do at home:





Want to learn more about the EcoTarium in Wocester, MA? Click HERE and watch the video below:



How would you design an exhibit for two animals. One of the animals that you might not like, and one for an animal that you do like.

Share your observations with us by LEAVING A COMMENT BELOW  about your experience of designing an exhibit. We LOVE hearing from you!! If you liked this episode, leave a comment below OR share with us on our Twitter , Instagram or Facebook page.


Zoology book by Jennifer Swanson


Highlighted book for this episode! 

Zoology: Cool Women Who Work With Animals (Girls in Science) 
by Jennifer Swanson (Author), Lena Chandhok (Illustrator)







Book List:

Zoology for Kids: Understanding and Working with Animals, with 21 Activities by Josh Hestermann (Author), Bethanie Hestermann (Author)

Reptiles for Kids: A Junior Scientist’s Guide to Lizards, Amphibians, and Cold-Blooded Creatures 
by Michael G. Starkey

The Fascinating Animal Book for Kids: 500 Wild Facts! by Ginjer Clarke

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