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Keeper Stories – Thursday, April 6

Last week I had the honor of presenting a private animal encounter for birthday girl Chrissie Fit of the “Pitch Perfect 3” cast. Just more proof that I have the best job on the planet! It was so much fun. The cast and crew were so friendly and took in the experience with as much enthusiasm as excited children. It was absolutely amazing to witness. I had the chance to ask one of the guests why Chrissie chose Zoo Atlanta to host her birthday party, and the answer was simply “because she absolutely loves animals.” How awesome is that!?! I spent over an hour with this group answering questions ranging from birds, to pandas, even to conservation efforts that we support.

I have always been a huge fan of the “Pitch Perfect” movies, but that was not the largest part of why I was so excited about this. Many people, including many celebrities, do not realize the impact they have on people. Many people, especially young people, see the celebrities as role models and look up to them. So when individuals like Chrissie and the rest of the cast and crew show interest in conservation organizations like Zoo Atlanta, those who look up to them follow suit. This allows the Zoo to reach an audience we previously may not have been able to reach. To a conservation-minded organization, that’s music to our ears (yes I purposely chose that analogy.)

Chrissie, I am not sure if you will ever see this, but I just wanted to say thank you and thank you to the rest of your organization. For you to take the time to show your support for Zoo Atlanta is truly humbling. It was a pleasure speaking with you and showing you just a few of the amazing experiences Zoo Atlanta has to offer. And you looked like a professional bird trainer with Savannah on your arm. Acabelieve it!
Justin Eckelberry
Keeper II, Program Animals

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl