Being a zookeeper seems fun – until you factor in all the mean animals at zoos you would have to deal with. Sure, office jobs frequently come with co-workers who leave their dirty coffee mugs out or forget to refill the paper in the copy machine. But when zookeepers describe the biggest animal jerks they encounter, you'll thank your lucky stars you don't have their position.
According to these Reddit stories, there are tons of animals that are hard to keep. And the worst animals might surprise you. While you might assume predators like lions or bears are the biggest jerks, zookeepers describe bad animal behavior from creatures like tiny birds, lemurs, and even goats. When it comes to animals behaving badly, the biggest creatures aren't always the meanest.
The Self-Pleasuring Beluga
"Not quite the same thing, but I volunteered at an aquarium while in high school (I later worked at another aquarium, but that's besides the point).
I used to talk at different exhibits. The worst was beluga whales, at least it was for me. It's the first stop and lots of people come and I was just too anxious to go on mic in front of that many people.
One of our whales was a young male. He interacted with the guests the most, often pushing his melon against the glass and blowing out water. There are videos of him with a mariachi band and at weddings during ceremonies.
So yeah, a young male whale. Young male whales are excitable, if you catch my drift. Some times he would get so excited, he would rub himself on the biggest piece of glass. He only seemed to do this on the busiest days or days we had lots of kids. Normally I would talk about other stuff and people just kind of pointed and laughed. Some people would ask what was happening to which I would reply, 'Oh, you know how young guys are.' People usually got it after that.
One day, on a super busy day, the whale rubbed himself until climax. Whale cum for everyone to see. I was barely sixteen at the time, and I was mortified when kids ran up to ask me what the explosion was. Whale just swims away, the smug bastard."
The Emu Wallaby War
"When I worked as a zookeeper intern, I think the biggest jerks were the emus. It was the summer of 2004 and the emus shared an exhibit with the wallabies. The exhibit wasn't high-security. It was essentially a fence made of dried bamboo stalks.
Wallabies are super cute and while we didn't have an area where they are in the same space as visitors, some zoos do. Wallabies are not typically threatening in any way.
The emus were big jerks. They constantly pecked at the wallabies and were generally a pain, but they weren't separated because they didn't cause actual injuries. The wallabies eventually got their revenge and freedom. One night, one of the emus ran into the fence and sort of gently-impaled itself. It wasn't badly injured, but it did fall down after the injury. What did the wallabies do? They kicked it in the head until it was dead.
The wallabies and emus were separated the next day."
Baby Camel Chaos
"I'm sure there are probably problem animals in the other areas of my zoo as well but the animal that is the biggest jerk that I have worked with takes the form of a baby camel. Now most people don't think about camels as dangerous animals usually but a quick google search will show you plenty of videos displaying just how strong and terrifying they can be. Fortunately that's not an issue for us, all of our camels are well trained and pretty well behaved so long as you don't leave anything sitting around them that you aren't prepared to have eaten by one of the giant lugs. Except for one.
This baby camel was orphaned by her mother so she has been raised by us for the most part. Usually she is pretty sweet and fairly easy to get along with. But I have never seen an animal go through bigger mood swings than her. One moment she will be rubbing up next to you looking for attention, but the next moment you have your back turned she will be half reared up and ready to kick, and then after failing to murder you she will try to come back to you for more affection like none of it ever happened. She would use any reason as an excuse to try and attack one of us too. 'Oh that stick that has been in my enclosure for a week and I have never reacted to? Now that you are in my enclosure as well it's now clearly an attacker and I need to destroy everything in my immediate radius.'
Now I know what you're thinking, it's just a baby right? What harm could she do? Well by six months she was already past 200 pounds and still growing, she'll easily pass 1000 pounds when she is fully grown. So trying to lead her outside in the morning when she was in a homicidal mood was a hassle to say the least, dodging kicks and trying to hold onto her lead while she did her best to murder you. I would easily say 90% of the injuries sustained on the job in our department was due to her.
That being said, I still love the little antichrist and she has definitely started to calm down with age and take to her training a lot better but that couldn't have come fast enough for most of our shins and ankles."
The Razor-Clawed Wallaby
"A hand-raised wallaby named Wallace Montgomery. He was hand-raised (translation: f*cking psycho) and then given to us when he became a wee bit overwhelming for his previous caretaker.
Feeding time? Prepare to be be gouged by his razor sharp nails, bit on your softest parts, and the bowl WILL be knocked out of your hands.
Cleaning time? He will grab your rake and shovel, hit you with them, and kick you when you bend down to pick up your stuff.
Trying to give him fresh straw to sleep on? Nope. He shredded the bag it came in. He kicked the fresh straw into the yard. He picked up the dirty pissy straw and rubbed it all over you.
I love him immensely. Fun fact: if you pick him up mid-tantrum, he will lay his head on your shoulder and give you three solid minutes of snuggles before recommencing your attempted murder."