Logan works on a painting with some archer fish. She dangles a cricket in front of the canvas and the fish spit water at it to try and knock the treat down.
Name: Logan Agan
Title: Animal Area Technician, Aquaticus
Tenure at the OKC Zoo: 3 years
Residence: Harrah, OK
1. What are your primary responsibilities at the Zoo?
My responsibilities at the zoo include basic husbandry of all the many different species of fish that we have at our aquarium. I take a lot of pride and responsibility in educating our public about our animals and really trying to reach out in any way that I can. I feel that the more you can teach people about an animal the more connected they feel to them and it may make them more apt to recycle and conserve in their daily lives. Another responsibility I take very seriously is enrichment. I know that many people think that it is hard or almost impossible to enrich a fish, but that’s not the case. I have found quite a few ways to include enrichment in their everyday lives such as offering different food items, switching up their exhibit by moving décor around and giving them new places to explore, and just recently I have begun incorporating a natural behavior for the archer fish that has really been fun and enriching for me as well (see below).
2. What are some of your favorite animals to work with and why?
I really enjoy working with many different animals - some of my favorites include archer fish, sea horses, cuttlefish, coral and anemones. I also love the giant snakehead. I love working with these animals for many reasons. I enjoy working with the archers because I have found a way to include something they naturally would do in the wild, spitting water to knock down insects, and use it to create paintings! Not many people know that a fish can paint, even if it is in their own special way.** I enjoy the sea horses and cuttlefish because they are so delicate and require a lot of very detailed and specific care and patience and I enjoy that I get to provide that for them. Working with coral and anemones has really become a favorite of mine because it is fascinating to me that so much has life and that we get to share that with the public. The giant snakehead could very easily be one of my favorite fish here at our Zoo - she is just such a neat animal and not one that you could easily see everywhere so I take great pride that we get the chance to work with her.
3. What do you wish other people knew about your job/being a Keeper?
What I would like people to know about being a keeper is that it takes a very special type of person. It is very hard work and absolutely not the most glamorous, but we do it because we have a genuine love for animals. It is something that I can spend the rest of my life doing and feel really fulfilled. Working with animals and learning all that I can about them and being able to share that knowledge with others is absolutely one of the greatest jobs. If this is something that you dream of then stop at nothing to get there, it is really worth it.
4. Why is your job important, both to you and in general?
This job is important because we are able to show the public what many people would never get a chance to see in their lifetime. Some people come to the Zoo and learn about a new animal that they didn’t even know existed. It is important to be able to teach the public but to do it in a manner that is healthy for the animal. This job is also important for the animals because we are able to learn from them and help conserve animals that are in the wild.
5. What is your favorite Zoo memory from when you were young?
My favorite zoo memory from when I was young was coming to the Zoo and loving the aquarium. I fell in love with Moe the sea lion at a very young age and I always envied everyone that got to work with him. I could spend all day just watching him. One of the happiest days of my career and life really was the day I got to feed him when I was a volunteer. It was such a happy moment and something I had dreamed of doing since I could remember. It made everything I had worked for and continue to work for worth it. I can never replace a memory like that and I am so grateful for the experience.
About me: I am from Harrah Oklahoma, and still currently reside there. I have worked at the zoo for almost three years , two of which were in the marine mammal department (seals and sea lions) and now I work with the fish. I still currently go to school at the University of Central Oklahoma. I interned at Sea Life Park in Hawaii in 2008 with marine mammals. I volunteered here at the Oklahoma City Zoo in the marine mammal department prior to working here. I have always had an interest in marine life and I enjoys working with as many different species that I can.
**Join us at the In Your Eye Gallery in the Paseo Arts District for the second annual Art Gone Wild art show featuring works of art created by our own favorite furry, scaled and feathered friends! Each work of art is for sale and all profits support the Zoo’s conservation projects (and fresh canvases for next year). Opening night will be Friday, August 5 from 6 to 10 p.m. and there will be a closing reception on Friday, August 26 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.