Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Josh Lucas

Highlight

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
He has always had a lifelong fascination with reptiles and amphibians.
Attended the University of Oklahoma where he received his degree in zoology.
While he was in college, he volunteered at the Oklahoma City Zoo in order to gain experience in the field—says the best way to get into zookeeping is to volunteer.
After graduating, he spent a lot of time venturing throughout South America studying poison dart frogs.
Says that all of this traveling and studying sparked his passions for research, conservation, and protecting endangered species.
After coming back to the U.S., he wanted to find a job where he could work hands-on with the animals he was passionate about and continue to stay involved in conservation efforts.
He is now the Senior Animal Caretaker for all of the reptiles and amphibians at the Oklahoma City Zoo.
He is also heavily involved with the conservation organization Jatun Sacha in Ecuador where he has started his own amphibian conservation projects focused on understanding their population decline.

Career

Senior Animal Caretaker, Reptile & Amphibian Department

I care for and maintain a diverse collection of reptiles and amphibians at the Oklahoma City Zoo.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Environment & Nature
Science
Accomplishing Goals

Day to Day

My areas of primary care include reptiles and amphibians. In one day at the zoo, I’ll generally care for frogs as tiny as your thumbnail and giant tortoises that weigh upwards of 450lbs. Among many other things, I have to know and understand the natural history, native habitat, dietary and enrichment needs of the animals I care for. We have to understand the natural behaviors and patterns of our animals to better provide them with everything they need to live happy and healthy lives.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

While the biology aspect of college was a great foundation, unfortunately very few if any college courses teach you how to be a zookeeper. Despite this, most zoological institutions require an undergraduate degree. Volunteering at an AZA accredited Zoo or professional animal care facility is the absolute best way to get started on this career path.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Family:

"Why don't you just be a veterinarian? They make more money."

Challenges I Overcame

Work Stress

Interviewed By

Skill Powered

Skill Powered

Skills Forward Roadtrip