Love of elephants leads to volunteer work at the zoo

08/10/2014 12:30 PM

08/13/2014 12:34 PM

Caleb Noller loves elephants, and it was his childhood dream to work with them.

In 2008, Noller began volunteering at the Sedgwick County Zoo. In the beginning, his job description was anything but elephants.

“I scoop pooped, cleaned stalls, cleaned pools, scrubbed bird poop, cut dead branches,” Noller said. “I could sit down and write a hundred things of what I have done around the zoo.”

Noller, 20, is a junior majoring in biology and business at Newman University. So far this year, he has volunteered nearly 1,400 hours. He hopes to one day be a zookeeper.

He currently is working in the African Veldt part of the zoo, tending to elephants and rhinos.

“My favorite animals are the elephants,” he said. “I love having this opportunity of getting to work with Stephanie and Cinda.”

The zoo’s two South African bush elephants have been at the zoo since the fall of 1972. Stephanie is 7,247 pounds and is 223 inches from the tip of her trunk to the bottom of her tail. Cinda weighs 7,946 pounds and is 225 inches long.

“They are the stars of the zoo and getting to work with them every day is a dream come true,” Noller said.

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or Follow her on Twitter: @beccytanner.

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