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Denver Zoo volunteers share their knowledge of animals with guests

Posted at 9:15 PM, Nov 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-06 09:08:46-05

DENVER — An autumn chill at the Denver Zoo hasn't stopped visitors from checking out the wildlife. Navigating the many exhibits can be a challenge, which is why the Zoo relies on its over 600 volunteers.

"It's a popular place to volunteer, lots of people," said Brianna Cronin, the Zoo's Volunteer Coordinator. "And there's lots of work to do."

Two of those volunteers include Yitzy Wihelm and his job coach, Jacki Hamlin. Both have been a part of the Zoo's inclusion program for more than two years now.

"This is a program where we have volunteers who might need a little extra assistance, or aren't able to be fully independent in their role," remarked Cronin. "They are in positions all over the zoo — guest facing, behind the scenes, and everywhere in between."

The dynamic duo have a great sense of direction, a pulse on the animals — and will help guests in any way possible.

"It's great to have someone who isn't afraid to say hi to everybody, loves having conversations with everyone that walks by," said Cronin.

So not only are we giving Yitzy the proper recognition for his work... but Jacki, too.

"I think they're going to be here a while," said Cronin. "Which is wonderful for us."

Denver Zoo volunteers sharing their knowledge of animals with guests

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