Meet Cassandra Reid! Cassandra grew up right here in Dallas and has been one of our vet tech superstars for 12 years now.
Where were you before coming to Dallas Zoo?
I worked in a small animal practice for 7 years before coming to the zoo. It was a big change because I had daily interactions with patients and was always able to have direct contact with the animals. I could get all the cuddles from a puppy or dog that I wanted. We can’t cuddle tigers, no matter how much we might want to! But it is just as amazing to work with all the zoo animals.
Describe a typical day at “the office.”
In the zoo field no day is typical, every day is different. A day could start out filling prescriptions and getting ready for any procedures for that day. It can also include some type of training with an animal for medical behaviors, or treatments for animals that are not well.
What is the hardest part of the job?
Losing an animal is always difficult, especially when you have worked personally with the animal or have been a part of their birth.
And the most rewarding part?
Training with animals to help provide better care for them. Recently, I have been working with our red river hogs to get them more comfortable receiving vaccinations. It’s always rewarding when you are able to accomplish your goal!
The opportunity to be a part of some rescue/conservation projects is another rewarding aspect of the job. I had the opportunity to travel to Madagascar last year to help with the care of 10,000 critically endangered radiated tortoises who were rescued from a private home and the illegal pet trade. I also traveled to South Africa this year to help care for the 1,800 flamingo chicks who were abandoned at their nesting grounds due to historic drought conditions.
Do you have a favorite animal at the zoo?
Winspear (cheetah) and Bahati (lion). Winspear is close to my heart because I was involved with his transport here to the zoo, and I helped hand- rear him. Bahati is special to me because she was the first lion cub birth I have been involved with.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Traveling and dancing! I am an avid salsa and kizumba dancer.