Potawatomi Zoo officials talk importance of Endangered Species Day

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - May 17 is Endangered Species Day, and officials from the Potawatomi Zoo stopped by the WNDU Studios to talk about the importance of animal conservation.

John Sisk and Skye Hoffman from the Potawatomi Zoo brought along an armadillo, sloth and endangered small tortoise.

"We live in a world where it's getting harder and harder to justify the work zookeepers do," Sisk said.

He added it is important to teach the next generation of animal lovers the importance of helping save these animals. So, how can you become a zookeeper?

Sisk said it takes a lot of hard work and dedication.

"When everyone else is having Thanksgiving or Christmas, we're taking care of the animals and providing for them," Sisk said.

Hoffman grew up in Michiana and started volunteering at the Potawatomi Zoo as a teenager.

"I always wanted to work with animals," Hoffman said.

Each time the zoo posts an opening for a zookeeper position, they receive hundreds of applications. Sisk even said they've had interest from Europeans looking to work at such a respected zoo.

The zoo is continuing to grow. They're hoping to complete construction on a new entrance by the end of the summer and are adding a rhinoceros in the next few months.

They're hosting events all throughout the summer, including education opportunities and "Roars and Pours."

For a full list of events, head to the zoo's website. You can also learn about education opportunities by clicking here.