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 Goring Goat
"We had a Cretin Goat that was hand reared, so it was put in the children's petting zoo. As it got older it turned into more and more of a jerk. This goat started bullying the kids by gently approaching them until they it was close enough to be pet. It would put its head against the kids them then try to push them over. But worse than that, is it really hated old ladies. It just straight up charged and rammed old ladies. After a few knock downs, it became apparent what a jerk it was.
We moved the goat to an off exhibit 3/4 acre enclosure on a hillside. I was doing some work in the enclosure with a coworker of mine before we found out about this particular goat. She stayed at the bottom of the hill to check out the animals while I was doing work up top. I looked down and she was hiding in the barn waving at me. I thought it was weird but just kept on working. Then, this goat comes up and starts pushing into me. I thought it was just being aggressive with wanting to be pet.
Little sh*t was sure footed on that hillside, planting it and trying to push me over. I slipped a few times but it was more an annoyance at that point. What changed was when this goat started dropping his head in front of my thighs and jerking it up backwards, seemingly trying to impale me with its horn. I repeatedly had to grab its horn with one hand, while carrying my equipment in the other. Then it would scamper off and come back with another head push and attempted stabbing every 10 feet a made it down the hillside.
When I met with my coworker at the bottom, she told me it got aggressive and charged her. She was waving to try and warn me. After that we mentioned the goat to the keeper. He laughed and proceeded to tell us several stories about what a jerk this goat was.
I'll always remember that goat."
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 Psychotic Swans
"Swans are pure devil spawn.
They want to kill anything that moves near them. Sweet harmless baby ducks born on the pond? Initiate murder instinct. Man who feeds me and cleans my awful poop everyday? Start up the murder protocol.
Even the dumbest of invertebrates knew that we fed them and would be kinder. Swans see you bringing them food from across the park and are furious that 'YOU STOLE MY FOOD I NEVER HAD AND PUT IT IN THAT BUCKET YOU'RE BRINGING TOWARD ME AND I AM GOING TO BEAT THE HELL OUT OF THIS GROUNDHOG NEAR ME BECAUSE OF IT, AND THEN TRY TO MURDER YOU.'
Swans are the worst."
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."