Listicles detailing confessions from people who’ve been behind the scenes are always a good read. First-hand knowledge about the things that happen at our favorite places are some of the best confessions.
There aren’t many doors, or cages, locked more tightly than a Zoo’s enclosures. What waits behind the doors in a Zoo are animals that we, as the public, never get a chance to see up close. What we see is what we get. Luckily for us, there are former Zoo employees willing to share their fantastic stories about experiences they had while working.
Nearly 250,000 people work as Zoo employees. That’s a good number of people that surely have some ‘grizzly’ gossip to tell us! We want to hear nutty stories about snakes getting out of their tanks, or tigers getting rowdy with their caretakers, right? If you were hoping to read about things like that today, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
There’s no better place to read about gnarly Zoo employee experiences than online. Where, do you ask? That place happens to be right here. In this article, some former employees comment on their time working at the Zoo fondly, while others have had things happen there that they would like to forget forever.
15. When Elephants Get The Runs
The story you see here is from the mouth of a man who formulates the food Zoo animals eat. Sounds like a cool job, right? Unfortunately for him, he was tasked with reformulating food for some herbivores at a local Zoo. The guy made an error in his formula, and it caused the Zoo animals to get sick. Really sick! He claims, “Two weeks later (after the new food was delivered), we get a call from the zoo. All the herbivores have been suffering from an extremely loose stool and diarrhea. We checked the formula and saw the mistake. From the story I heard, there was shit everywhere. This stuff must have come out of the elephants with some serious velocity. I felt sorry for the keepers that had to clean that up.”
14. Oh Man, The Tiger’s Waking Up!
One former Zoo employee says that he has “lots of stories,” but the one that pops into his mind is about a tiger. It’s a good one too. He says, “We were transporting a sedated tiger to the veterinary clinic in the back of a van. During the transport, the ‘sedated’ tiger raised his head, placed his mouth around a keeper’s lower leg, then fell back asleep. A good solid 20 seconds of ‘did that just f**king happen?’ before the vets pushed another bump of propofol to keep him down until we got him onto the anesthesia machine.” Oh, my goodness. Not many people have had a tigers mouth around their leg and not ended up being lunch.
13. Bombs Away!
Have you ever been hit by gorilla poop while you were at the Zoo? Well, if you ever end up around this Zookeepers monkey you will be. He says, “he has this gorilla all at the zoo that he works named Casey, and he can get very very angry. He’s very notorious for it, and he’s a rather large silverback gorilla. People are sick f**king a**holes, they are constantly tormenting him, slapping on their chest and sh*t, and so Casey sometimes throws sh*t (sometimes literal sh*t) at people. And who do the people go to complain? Us. Those a**holes.” He’s right people are sick assholes, but his confession sure is funny.
12. The Crazy Lady Called Again
If you’ve ever run into an insane person, you’ll be able to relate to this crazy story from a former Zoo employee. It’s kinda funny if you ask me. Understand though, I’m not trying to make fun of a person who has visible mental disabilities… with that said, this entry does make for a great story. The former Zoo employee tells us,”there were the calls from the public. My favorite was the lady who called us accusing us of sending Big Bird to stalk her.” She’s seeing Bird Bird, huh? That’s one disturbed lady if you ask me. She’s a person you’d remember dealing with for the rest of your life.
11. It’s A Cockroach Attack!
This former Zoo employee begins his gnarly story, warning us: “I’m going back to a mental place I’ve tried very hard to forget. Please know that.” Once hearing his story you wouldn’t want to either. Here’s what happens when he found an infestation of cockroaches behind crates he was moving. “There were so f**king many. And here’s the thing about roaches at zoos – you can’t really just go crazy spraying pesticides. We start spraying the crevices, and the f**kers start swarming out. Intern is trying her best to spray them back toward the drain, which just so happens to be back at me as well. Waves of roaches washing towards me. In about no seconds flat, we’re both surrounded by these ungodly things… I went home and tried to get the image of the roaches swarming towards me in waves out of my head, but I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.”
10. Eating Bugs Is Just Gross
Eating bugs is just downright nasty. I know they do it in other cultures, but it’s still weird. People who eat bugs when they don’t have to are doing it for attention. Much like this former Zoo employee’s coworker did. I’ll never understand why a person would want to eat bugs or be known for eating bugs, but this guy is a little bit different, I guess. The former Zoo employee recalls his story and says that “probably the best thing was watching my semi-twisted (okay, pretty twisted, but totally amazing) coworker pop crickets and mealworms in his mouth in front of a bunch of kids. He loved making the kids squirm and squeal. Every now and again he’d get one to eat one with him.”
9. A Black Bear Is On The Premises
Naturally, there are all kinds of animals at a Zoo. But what about the animals not in captivity that end up wandering into the park mistakingly? Well, they have to be dealt with too, or they could cause problems among the animals. Somebody has to keep the peace, don’t they? Here’s a story from a former Zoo employee that was tasked with patrolling the grounds and ousting any intruders. He confesses, “Being on the gun team to chase a wild black bear that had entered the property (where we also had bear exhibit) was exciting. You get very little back talk from guests when you are carrying a rifle and tell them to go inside because of a bear.”
8. Not The Spider Monkeys Again!
Chasing after a bunch of monkeys and trying to corral them would suck. They’re way faster than we are! This former Zoo employee had to do it though, as their story starts off, “all of the spider monkeys that escaped from their island overnight and had to be recaptured. The best part: the last monkey to be captured was by one of the public rides. There was actually debate about whether or not to start the ride while trying to determine if they could fire a tranquilizer without injuring the animal. It finally took someone saying ‘Do you really want to fire tranqs at the guests?!’ before they realized they should probably not start the ride.”
7. Help Me Save This Lobster
Here’s a story about a woman who had her heart in the right place, but the effort she was putting in just wasn’t enough. She thought what she was doing was a good thing, but it turns out her actions created this funny story. Each former Zoo employee’s story is awesome to read, but this one just makes you laugh in all the right ways. The confession begins by telling us that “a woman used to frequently bring in live lobsters she had bought from the grocery store and expected us to take care of them. She really thought she was ‘rescuing’ them. When we finally tried to explain that the store would just replace them with more lobsters, she got angry and stopped coming.”
6. Oh My Gosh!
Home Alone can probably claim the funniest human vs. tarantula confrontation in movie history. Here’s a man that can say that in real life, though. His story starts: “So I round up the animals, load up the van, and hit the road. The show was around half hour away, so I took the highway as usual. Traffic wasn’t bad at all being the weekend, so I’m cruising pretty well. Suddenly, I see something out of the corner of my eye…F***. It’s the god d**n tarantula. Chilling right on the center console like ‘hey there, where we headed to?’. I am a severely arachnophobic. I do handle the spiders and scorpions, but with gloves/gauntlets. Suddenly, Miss Rosie (the ungodly creature) starts to meander over towards my lap. And I freak. I swerved violently towards the shoulder and managed to pull over before she got too cozy with me.”
5. What’s That Goat Doing?
Nobody goes through life thinking that one day they could be sodomized by an animal. Then a dog humps your leg, and you realize that these things really do happen. Much like they did in this Zoo employee’s gnarly story. They said, “The craziest thing I’ve seen at work was our male goat mounting a guest. Our petting zoo consists of goats, chickens, and a very grumpy pot-bellied pig. The male goat apparently decided that his females were no longer interesting and he picked a teenage boy to climb on. Poor kid got a free membership out of it.” Having a goat trying to get it on with you at a Zoo would be a bad day.
4. These Monkeys Killed For Fun
Monkeys are the clowns of the Zoo, and there are many stories that involve them doing something absurd. Kids usually love monkeys and can often be found outside of their pins smiling and laughing at their comical behavior. The story that you’ll read about here from a former Zoo employee isn’t comical, though. It’s sick, in fact, and probably scarred these kids for life. Monkeys that she worked with every day were some murderous sons of a gun. Her story about her experience with some cold monkeys goes: “The monkeys grabbed a pigeon out of the air, tore its head off, and tossed the decapitated pigeon corpse between themselves in front of a tour group of five-year-olds.”
3. A Zookeepers Worst Nightmare!
This story is one that a Zookeeper told me a few years back. The story is about a monkey that was an escape artist at the Kansas City Zoo. He kept getting out of his cage at night so the Zoo installed cameras to see how he was escaping. Unfortunately, the cameras weren’t providing results. The problem eventually reached the top of the food chain, and people were about to get fired. They eventually did solve the problem, though. Zookeepers discovered that the orangutang was going over to an out of service electrical panel within his enclosure during the day. He was ripping out the wire and stripping the coating off. He would wind up the copper tight so he could store it in his mouth. At night he’d take the copper out and pick the lock to his cage. Genius!
2. One Of The Cheetah Cubs Is Missing
Want to read a story about one of the world’s fastest animals getting out of a cage? Here you go then. The story start’s at “5:30 am when the old guy training me just stops and says ‘Brinks, don’t move a muscle.’ Peer around the old guy, and there’s a cheetah cub just chilling in the middle of the path. He slowly reached for his radio and called it in. Cheetah keepers very gently caught it and put it back in its cage. Walking by later, I saw another groundskeeper cutting off all the branches near the top of the cage. Little dude jumped out and was just exploring when we found him.”
1. Polar Bears Making “Piggies”
Here a few stories from a former Zoo employee that had her fill. She confessed, “I’ve walked into a room and I had no idea they were dissecting a crocodile, not a fun smell or sight. The words ‘excuse me but can you hold my camel.’ I got chased by a penguin that wanted to eat my shoes, a different penguin cuddled me and smushed its face in my boobs. Men in full hazmat suits walking around with no explanation as to why. Told a women to not let her child into the hippo exhibit. It’s hard to really say crazy things since I’ve been working at the zoo on and off for years so things seem normal to me now. “Add polar bears getting busy on the tip of a hill as the sun was coming up behind them, it was weirdly awesome.”
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