• Proud to be from Pittsburgh: Zookeeper dedicates life to helping animals, teaching kids about them


    For some lucky people, a job is about more than just a paycheck. That's the case for Henry Kacprzyk, who has dedicated his life to helping animals and teaching children about them.

    "I grew up in Lawrenceville and used to come to the zoo as a kid; my brothers would bring me out on our bicycles and sneak in with them," said Kacprzyk.

    Kacprzyk no longer has to sneak into the zoo. He's worked at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium for more than 36 years. He knows the property and the animals well, because there aren't many jobs he hasn't held.


    "I started out as an animal keeper here at the zoo, became assistant curator, and now I'm a curator. I oversee the staff that cares for animals in particular areas: in reptiles and kids' kingdom," said Kacprzyk.

    Kacprzyk works with everything from bats to snakes to red pandas, and has been driven all these years by a love for all of them.

    "I was fascinated by animals. So to come to the zoo just sort of kept that thing going," said Kacprzyk.


    And now in addition to the animals, it's the children visiting the zoo who bring joy to his work.

    "I get a kick out of watching kids that are amazed by the animals and just sometimes walking though the zoo and smiling, they put a smile on my face," said Kacprzyk. "I recommend people follow your dream: all the way from the zoo teen to internship to full-time employment."

    For more information on how to get involved with the programs at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, visit http://www.pittsburghzoo.org/volunteer.



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