A look behind the scenes with Dallas Zoo zookeepers

FOX 4 got a behind the scenes look at the people who care for the animals at the Dallas Zoo as part of Zookeeper Appreciation Week.

Lyndsey Jones shares her passion for penguins at the Dallas Zoo every day.

"Always been a big fan of penguins. I’m a fan of sports teams just because they’re penguins," she said.

Jones is a senior zoologist in the bird department. She knows each penguin by name. 

"Over time, you get to know their personalities. They also have spots kind of like a Dalmatian. So you can tell them apart by that," she said.

Every morning, an on-site nutritionist prepares the food.

The morning feeding is also an opportunity for visitors to learn about the animals and see them in action.

Around the corner, it’s also lunch time for the chimpanzees.

The zookeeper climbed above the habitat to toss them fruit, all the while communicating with the apes, showcasing a deep bond. 

Back with the penguins, Lyndsey cleans up. 

The zookeepers are also responsible for maintaining the habitats. 

"We are gardeners, we are landscapers, were in construction. I’m climbing ladders, I use power tools," Jones said.

It's a job that never stops, on weekends or holidays, in bad weather, or during a global pandemic. 

"We are here like the post office, rain, sleet, snow, hail," she added.

They do it because they love the animals and want to keep them around for future generations. 

"Animals are always just a reminder to me to be a better person," Jones said.