Zoo curator encourages kids to follow dreams

Dr. Sue Tygielski is Reid Park Zoo’s newest general curator.

Tygielski took on the job about six months ago.

“My position really is to help guide the staff that takes care of the animals,” she said. “Also, tied and paired with that, is to help find ways to connect with the community through our animal collection.”

Tygielski grew up in Chicago and moved to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona.

“I really knew that I wanted to work with animals.”

She started her career doing field work by researching birds in the desert and tropics. She later worked as the elephant manager at Reid Park Zoo until becoming the general curator.

“At our zoo, we have had many women in leadership positions, but in many zoos that is not the case. Especially, a lot of the larger zoos tend to be more male dominated,” she said.

Tygielski said people should “not be intimidated by having big dreams.”

“I certainly didn’t see myself as a curator and here I am today. I encourage kids to shoot for their dreams and beyond because sometimes we don’t even know what those great dreams can be until we are on our path.”

Tygielski announced the zoo is adding a new exhibit. She said the type of animal to be housed there is a secret for now. She said it’s “something big” and “cold-blooded”.

She said construction will start in about a month.

Watch the full story on KVOA, click here! 

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