Make The Connection

August 29, 2023 | By Cole Hatcher

Ohio Wesleyan student Fiona Minton ’25 worked over the summer as a zoo educator and hopes for a career involving zoo work and her OWU Zoology degree. Here she works with her favorite snake, a Trans-Pecos Ratsnake named Bill. (Photo courtesy of Fiona Minton)

Zoo Educator

Ohio Wesleyan Student Spends Summer Interning at Hersheypark’s ZooAmerica

Name: Fiona Minton ’25
Hometown: Darien, Connecticut
High School: Darien High School
Major: Zoology
Minor: English
OWU Connection Experience: Paid summer internship at ZooAmerica

ZooAmerica’s animal residents include a coati named Jasper. He is a raccoon relative native to the American Southwest. (Photo by Fiona Minton)

Minton spent the summer working as a zoo educator at ZooAmerica, located in Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The zoo’s North American Wildlife Park is the home of more than 200 animals native to the North American continent.

My Job Duties

“Care and husbandry of our 70+ ambassador animals, as well as educating the public through various programs, activities, and presentations.”

My Favorite Moment

“There were so many! Every day has new favorite moments. Above all, definitely realizing I was living my childhood dream of being a zookeeper. Working with other keepers who are just as passionate as me and making lifelong friends was amazing as well.”

Lessons Learned

“I learned a lot about different animal welfare aspects, especially training, presenting, and enrichment. I was learning something new every day, which made work so much fun. I think the main lesson that stuck with me would be the misconceptions people have about so many animal species and how important and rewarding it is to teach them something new.”

Campus Involvements

“I’m on the marketing committee of the Campus Programming Board, PR chair of SLAM (Student-Led Arts Movement), and secretary of Reality Remix (K-pop music and dance fans).

OWU has provided me with beneficial information about connections and resources on campus that have helped a lot already.

Fiona Minton ’25

Why I Chose Ohio Wesleyan

“I chose OWU because of the Zoology program and all the study abroad and travel opportunities.”

My Plans After Graduation

“I want to continue with animal care and education in zoo environments and venture into larger educational roles. I’ve been working with animals for six years, and have always known this is the career for me! OWU has provided me with beneficial information about connections and resources on campus that have helped a lot already.”