From the Rainforest to the Indo-Pacific, our diverse array of exhibits are home to thousands of plants and animals. In celebration of National Zookeeper Appreciation Week, we’re introducing you to some of the stellar staff that keep our exhibits and living collection in perfect health!
Meet Calvin Weaver, a Herpetologist.
How long have you been at the Aquarium?
I started at the Aquarium’s Washington, DC facility two years ago. After it closed at the end of last year, I transferred up to Baltimore.
What interested you to pursue your current career path?
I have always been fascinated by reptiles and amphibians, a career with them only seemed natural. Eventually, I was able to test the waters and volunteer at different institutions to get an idea of what the job is actually like.
Briefly describe your day-to-day:
It always starts with a morning check to make sure everyone is doing alright. After that, most of my time is spent caring for the animals we have behind-the-scenes.
Favorite Aquarium memory?
Definitely the time I spent with the alligators in the DC facility. I was able to join a collecting trip to Florida, during which we returned a rare albino gator, Oleander, and picked up new baby alligators in New Orleans.
Next big project you’re working on?
Next up for me is getting our pair of Panamanian golden frogs (actually a species of toxic toad) ready to breed by this fall. This species is now extinct in the wild and are only managed by zoos and aquariums like ourselves. This will require me to build a new stream tank for their tadpoles to grow up in.
That is a fairly difficult question, it really will change every day. Today, I can safely say it is the Eastern Hellbender. A very endearing, if a little ugly, salamander.
Stay tuned for more National Zookeeper Appreciation Week features!