I’m Cathy, a Twin Cities editor, writer and nature enthusiast who started volunteering at the Minnesota Zoo in 2003. Since then, my enthusiasm for the zoo and its conservation mission has grown with each passing year. On the paid-employment front, I work an unconventional schedule that lets me spend four happy hours among the animals each Thursday, talking to zoo guests, answering questions and basically just doing what a docent does. I started this personal hobby blog in October 2009 after realizing most of my Facebook updates were zoo-related. (I also tweet on nature, dogs and copy editing: @naturalclauses.)

In November 2009, I got my reward for volunteering 1,000 hours at the zoo: I got to feed Semo, the oldest dolphin in our pod (and, in his mid-40s, one of the oldest male dolphins in human care.). Semo provided my second blog entry and my peak experience in a place that has given me all kinds of good times. As of 2013, the Minnesota Zoo no longer has dolphins (though it’s highly likely that we’ll get Hawaiian monk seals instead within a year or s0). Semo now lives at a Six Flags in California, where he has four dolphin girlfriends and gets to swim in an outdoor pool. I miss him, but at the zoo as in nature itself, the environment is ever-changing and there’s always a new creature waiting to delight us.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Aju Kurakkaran
    Jan 04, 2010 @ 19:28:37

    Hi Cathy…
    Good to see ur blog. Its impressive & I like this idea of ur encounters at the Zoo. I too like that place. Last time I was there I had a great time spending hours photographing the inmates :). Looking forward to see more.

    Regards & good luck
    Aju Kurakkaran


  2. D
    Dec 03, 2010 @ 14:46:34

    Hey Cathy,

    I used to volunteer at the zoo, and this past summer was a intern in the tropics. I’m glad you enjoyed the little bed we made for the red pandas. Us interns were specifically asked to do that, and I’m not sure what intern did it, but they did a really great job of it. Thanks for the blog, and thanks for being apart of the zoo.


  3. Steph
    Dec 27, 2010 @ 09:52:55


    He I’m a 1/3 Saturday volunteer and wanted to let you know I’m really enjoying your blog. Its great to see the different perspective of a weekday verses weekend volunteer. Things can be so different. Keep writing!!!


  4. Alan
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 01:27:24

    Hi Cathy

    This looks a great blog – I volunteer at Bristol in the UK myself, so I know how addictive it can be. It looks like you have a lot of posts for me to read up on!


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