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International Women’s Month: Meet Shelley

International Women’s Month: Meet Shelley

If you ask Shelley Scherer to pick a favorite memory from her 30 seasons at the Zoo, she will tell you it’s impossible.

“I’ve seen sea lions swim for the first time in their new exhibit, I’ve fed baby goats and baby calves – there are moments that stand out but there are too many wonderful memories to choose just one!”

Her journey began 30 seasons ago, when her mom encouraged her to get a seasonal job at the Zoo as a Zoo Keeper. Today, she’s an Area Curator and is the AZA Species Survival Plan Coordinator and Studbook Keeper for Eastern Grey Kangaroos.

“As a Studbook Keeper, I capture the entire history of the Eastern Grey Kangaroo species in AZA.” Every time a little joey is born, every time a joey moves to another Zoo, and every time a joey grows and starts a family of their own, Shelley updates the studbook. “This information allows the population biologist to determine how related individuals are within the population, which is crucial for planning the future of the population.” Along with keeping track of where the kangaroos are, shelley also assists the facilities that house this species.

“If a facility needs more animals or has to move animals, I help facilitate that.  If a facility wants information on management, diet, etc. I help provide that as well.  I also set goals for the population and assist the population biologist with determining who to breed so that we can maintain a genetically diverse and sustainable population within AZA institutions.”

In short, Shelley is busy with an incredibly rewarding job that she adores. “I love being able to interact directly with our conservation partners and hear first-hand the great thing they’re able to accomplish, I love providing quality care to the animals that call our Zoo home, and I love helping staff find their passion and play a role in their career development.”

Shelley is a conservation and animal welfare leader, whose passion for animals shines in her work. “At the Zoo, we are able to connect kids of all ages with amazing animals, and every day I get to share my passion with incredible people.”