Employee profile of Gayla Flannery
Continuing the family tradition of nursing that was started by her
mother and sister, Gayla Flannery
also became a nurse, lovingly caring for those in need of a helping hand.When time came to find a job in the Gulf Coast area and join her
found two vastly different options: a local nursing home and the zoo."I was driving past the zoo and thought why not?"Gayla
could have taken a job with a local nursing home, Gayla
choose a new career.Finding a new career as zoo keeper enabled this former Kentucky resident to work closely with the exotic animals that she
has so dearly loved since childhood: "My dream came true to work with exotics."
The career switch was natural for this life-long animal lover who confesses to bringing home every type of stray animal imaginable."You name it; I brought it home," Gayla
said while adjusting her
Animal Planet hat to shade her
eyes from the bright sunlight.Working with the zoo has enabled Gayla
, who played basketball in middle and high school, to care for some of the zoo's newest arrivals to the world, including "CC", a lion cub, and some deer and goat kids.Gayla
doesn't seem to mind that work follows her
home on a regular basis."I love it when I take a baby home at night and bottle feed it."After working at the zoo for 18 months, she was promoted to her current position of keeper supervisor.
is not working at the zoo, Gayla stills plays with animals, like her
two Great Danes and cat."I spend time with my animals and sometimes take them to the beach.My life consists of animals."Also, she
uses the time off to relax on the sofa and to catch up on chores, like cleaning.Regardless of the job demands, she
says that "they are going to have to run me out of here."