“When you’ve been here for 20 some years, it becomes your home. We’re basically all family.”
Position: Gift Shop Manager
Responsibilities: Unpack and arrange merchandise in store, order new products
Becky has had quite a history at Reptile Gardens with many different unique experiences. She started working in the miniature horse barn in 1995 by giving pony rides to kids and also worked in the tortoise yard and dressed as Shelly to take pictures with kids and adults. By 1998 she had moved to the bird department where she stayed until 2013, helping with bird shows and training staff. She was in charge of the bird department from 2003-2013, but after having her son, decided she’d offer to move departments.
Each department has offered Becky a different chance to grow and use different skills. While the gift shop allows her to be OCD, the bird department also had its perks. Working in the gift shop gives Becky a new challenge and allows her to play games in her mind to determine whether someone would purchase a product or not and get into the minds of the Guests.
Most rewarding part of the job:
Her time at the bird department was both rewarding and not at the same time:
“Not everybody gets to go out there and say I trained a bald eagle today. Every day is different. We used to do rehab also and it was always a very rewarding, unrewarding job because those days when you would get a bird in and take care of it and be able to release it again, great, but then there were a lot days where you would get bird after bird and you could do nothing for them. It’d be a really heartbreaking but really rewarding thing too.”
Things to know about Becky:
1. She has a stepson and a son she enjoys spending time with.
2. Her kids have grown up in the Reptile Gardens family as well. The Reptile Gardens logo was the first thing her son learned to recognize and her step son is still pictured on one of the billboards.
3. She absolutely adores vultures and has a vulture tattoo. She says they have a lot of fun characteristics that set them apart from other birds and she could go on for hours talking about them.
4. She went to the University of Minnesota then transferred to the School of Mines to get her Pre-Vet degree.