Spotlight: Kent Carter

May 27, 2008 | Sherry Samuels

Kent has been working as an Animal Keeper at the Museum for almost 12 years. I remember when I hired him he said I asked him the best interview questions ever. Kent is one of the animal department’s Senior Animal Keepers. His focus is on special projects. This includes things like working with groups of kids from schools on projects, mowing the bear yard, venomous snake work, and much more.

Kent is the keeper who does most of the potentially dangerous animal work with me. This includes catching and handling the wolves. Kent is an expert at hoop sticking. It’s really an art form to get the noose around the wolf at the right time and in the right space. It also takes great touch knowing when to tighten and when to loosen. I always have Kent at my side when we do this.

Kent is the one I want by my side whenever things might get tense. While building our new bear exhibit there were some construction blasting issues which destroyed part of the bear fence. Kent was the one I summoned to stand next to me to put the fence back together and keep the bears (Ursula) and people safe.

Above, Kent is working on the chicken’s toe nails making sure they are in good shape. He says the Farmyard is his favorite place to be. His other favorite spot is with the reptiles, particularly the snakes. Kent currently raises snakes on his own time, and at one point in his life had more than 400 snakes living at his house.

The Museum is lucky to have someone like Kent with such diverse skills and interests, and a “willing to do anything” attitude.

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