ZooKeeper Clara

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1We recently had a very special visitor here at Southwick’s Zoo. The Make-a-Wish Foundation contacted us about a little girl named Clara who loves elephants and wished to be a zookeeper for a day. Of course we wanted to do whatever we could to create a memorable day for Clara and her family.

They arrived to the zoo in a limousine and met up with Betsey and one of our zookeepers/education coordinators, Sarah. The weather was perfect and sunny, and the day was off to a great start!



A kangaroo encounter was first on Sarah’s list of zookeeper activities. Clara, her younger brother, and her parents go to get up close to our resident mob of red kangaroos including Rufus the joey.


Clara also got to meet a number of our other animals such as our sloths, Aldabra tortoises, and giraffes!

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The highlight of the day was riding the visiting elephants Tai and Rosie! Clara even received her own t-shirt painted by one the elephants.


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After exploring the zoo some more, we decided to take a break for lunch. Clara was surprised by an amazing cake donated by Hannafords!


After lunch we took Clara for a second elephant ride, and then headed to the train station for a relaxing ride on the Woodland Express. Clara ended her zoo adventure by taking a spin on the carousel.

DSC_4150We couldn’t be happier with how the day progressed. We feel honored that we were able to make this wonderful little girl’s wish come true. If you would like to help other kids reach their dreams, please visit the Make a Wish Foundation Massachusetts and Rhode Island website to see how you can contribute.


  1. Cindy Laffy says:

    I am a friend of Elaine Garnache’s and met Clara and family while visiting from Michigan and staying at Elaine’s house. Prayers have been answered for good health! How special to be Zookeeper for a day!! The pictures are awesome. Thanks for sharing the precious photos.
    Cindy Laffy

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