Jaimee offers Bogey, a Rothschild's giraffe, some tasty browse. He uses his long tongue to strip the leaves off of the branch.
Name: Jaimee Flinchbaugh
Title: Animal Area Supervisor, Giraffes
Tenure at the OKC Zoo: 7.5 years
Residence: Choctaw, OK
1. What are your primary responsibilities at the Zoo?
Supervising a great team of 6 keepers and managing the husbandry of the animals in the "giraffe" area - from their basic needs to breeding to training and enrichment.
2. What animals are included in the “giraffe” area?
Giraffes, okapi, red river hogs, Grant's and Grevy's zebras, Grant's gazelles, an ostrich, Egyptian geese, East African crowned cranes, an African spurred tortoise, numerous guinea fowl, yellow-backed duikers, bat-eared foxes, spotted hyenas, Mexican grey wolves, a spectacled bear, maned wolves, bushdogs, cheetahs and African wild dogs.
3. What are some of your favorite animals to work with and why?
It's hard to choose a favorite - they are all amazing in their own ways - but I find the African wild dogs very fascinating. I love their pack dynamics and their high energy. Their natural behaviors are very fascinating to me. And they are beautiful animals! I also love working with hogs. They are very intelligent. And of course the giraffes - all of ours have neat personalities, even though they can be very stubborn! They have definitely taught me patience!
4. Why is your job important, both to you and in general?
Animals are my passion, and have been since I was little. I love my job because I know I can make a difference by sharing the amazing animals with our guests through both formal and informal keeper chats. I love seeing the awe on people's faces when talking to them about a species in general, and about our individual animals. If I can ignite a passion in even one guest, that is one more person that is possibly going to start doing something to help the amazing species of the world, directly or indirectly, whether it be in their own back yard or across the seas.
5. What is your favorite Zoo memory from when you were young?
What? You mean I'm not young anymore? ;-)
Sitting and watching the chimps. They are fascinating creatures!
About Me: I am from Augusta, Kansas and now live in Choctaw, Oklahoma. I have been with the OKC Zoo for 7 1/2 years. I have a degree in Zoo Science from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas. I worked at the Sedgwick County Zoo (Wichita, KS) for a little over 2 years, where I worked in the Children's Farms, before moving to Oklahoma. My parents have always been my biggest supporters and encouraged me to chase my dreams! I enjoy gardening, photography, my pets and spending time with my husband and my family. Oh, and I love spoiling my niece!