Episode 80

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium's Suzanne Akerman

August 12th, 2019

57 mins 43 secs

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About this Episode

Local biologist, Suzanne Akerman, joins the podcast for another great conversation. Suzanne spends her days sharing her passion for animals with visitors at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium for the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater. When she is not performing in shows or scooping poop, Suzanne is chair of Drinking for Conservation, a committee dedicated to conserving wildlife through fun social gatherings. Her hobbies include reading, solving crossword puzzles, trivia, dancing, and occasional modeling. Suzanne holds a B.A in English and an M.A. in Education from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, and a M.A. in Biology from Miami University. She first talked with GCP last year, on episode 16.

2:10 – Justin shares where listeners can find them online, Scott shares the octopus story out of Australia, and they discuss the importance of people not messing with wild animals. Suzanne shares how people can participate in beach walks with the Point Defiance Zoo, what a naturalist means in terms of those working at the zoo, and gave updates on the new stuff happening there. She discusses the eight new red wolf puppies at the zoo, the endangered Malayan tapir born, and how long she has been working at the zoo.

15:11 – Suzanne talks about the giant punch rats in Tanzania trained to sniff out landmines, Justin’s cat raides the feathers she brought from the zoo, and she talks about the Drinking for Conservation events for endangered species. She shares what events they have coming up, they talk about preserving salmon, and Suzanne shares where people can find out more information on their events online. Justin talks about other ways the zoo gives back to the community, Suzanne talks about the sloth cookies she brought, and they dive into coaster questions.

30:09 – Suzanne gives her thoughts on if there was a battle between a monkey and a shark who would win, the difference between a monkey and an ape, and weird conversations she has at the zoo with her fellow zoologists. She talks about how she would eat a platypus, different cultures that eat the head of animals, and what animal she would choose to help her survive in a zombie apocalypse.

43:24 – Suzanne shares the difference between ravens and crows, where people around the PNW can see ravens, and Justin talks about his crow friends. He talks about the different presents the crows have brought him and Michelle, Suzanne talks about University of Washington studies on crow intelligence, and where people can find her at the zoo. She talks about her favorite animals to work with at the zoo, how dangerous sloth nails are, and how people can get zoo memberships.

Thanks Suzanne for the interesting conversation and info on the new things going on at the zoo!

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