In a new feature for the Explore blog, we thought it would be a good idea to introduce you to some of the people who do all the hard work at AZA accredited zoos and aquariums. In the first of these profiles, we meet Christopher Kuhar who is the curator of primates and small mammals at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in Cleveland, Ohio.
Describe your job: I’m responsible for determining which animal species and individuals of that species we house at the Zoo. I also work with the Animal Care Managers to make decisions about husbandry and I work extensively with the Conservation and Science team to facilitate research that will enable us to better take care of our animals.
How long have you been in the position?: About three years.
What in your background helped you get the job?: Getting a PhD in Psychology/Animal Behavior while working at Georgia Tech and Zoo Atlanta.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?: The variety and the ability to make decisions that make a difference.
Describe a favorite memory/experience in your current position: Watching the gorillas eat their new all plant-based diet. The diet has proven effective in reducing the gorillas’ weights and has produced some great scientific documentation to help other zoos. It represents the first major change and collaboration that I helped organize here at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
Do you have a favorite animal and why is it your favorite?: I enjoy watching the Moholi Galagos (lesser bushbabies) in our Primate, Cat and Aquatics Building. They are extremely agile and make amazing leaps throughout their exhibit. Even though they are small, they aren’t afraid of much. I like their attitude.
Stay posted for more profiles of the hardworking people who dedicate their professional careers to caring for the amazing animals at AZA zoos and aquariums.
Does the zoo offer a behind the scenes with the gorillas? They are my favorite, I could spend hours watching them. Was at the zoo on Mothers Day and got the best video of them playing.
Debbie, You would have to contact the zoo directly to see what behind the scenes tours that are available. A great place to spend Mothers Day!
I love the idea of learning about the wonderful people behind the magical animals we fall in love with at zoos. Thank you for your passion and dedication!
Hi, Chris! What is it like to work with the lemurs?
We will send a note to Cleveland Metroparkszoo and see if Chris will give a follow up anwer!
Very cool post! Keep ‘em coming!