Who’s Who at the Zoo- Zoological Society

Kelsey Rieck- Development Manager

In January of this year Kelsey became the Development Manager joining the two-person team at the Zoological Society, responsible for memberships, fundraising, communications, and events. Her life-long passion for animals and zoos led her to pursue a career in environmental science.

After graduating Heartland Community College in May 2021, she began working toward a degree in Wildlife Conservation from Unity College in Maine. Next February she will get her bachelors and plans to continue for a masters from Unity in Wildlife Conservation focusing on endangered species and habitat conservation.

Currently she is taking courses on evolutionary genetics and environmental law. Local, state, and national laws for the protection of the environment and endangered species constantly change so the class may end but learning about the laws will not. In past classes Kelsey has studied a variety of wolf species, most recently red wolves and has become especially fond of Honey Bun and Moon Pie, the two red wolves at our zoo.

One of five kids, Kelsey grew up in LeRoy. When she is not working on class work or at the zoo, she is cheering on her brothers at their sporting events. Years ago, when she spent a night at Miller Park Zoo with her girl scout troop, she had no idea she would someday work at the zoo. In high school she was a member of the FFA Chapter becoming one of the only females in LeRoy FFA history to be awarded the American FFA degree, the highest degree that can be earned in the national FFA. She is not the only member of her family with a passion for animals, her sister is a pre vet major focusing on exotic animals at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale IL.