BLOOM! | Plant Keeper Power


Hi my name is Houston Snead and I’m a
Plant Keeper. I grow plants and work with rare varieties to protect them from
extinction, at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.
Creating an environment that feels natural. And I grow plants for some of
our animals to snack on. We even use zoo poop we call zoo doo from some of our
animals to make compost to feed our plants. Plants are awesome! Without plants, there wouldn’t be animals. You, me, and all the animals on the planet rely on
plants not just to survive but to thrive. Here we are in the greenhouse and this
is a ginger that we grow and feed to the gorillas. In the wild gorillas eat this
particular ginger, it’s really good for their health so we grow it here to give
them a little something of what they would have in the wild. And this stuff
has a really good smell! So we’re gonna take this ginger, deliver it to the
keepers and they’re gonna give it out to the gorillas. Hey Kim! I brought some ginger for the gorillas. Oh excellent they’re going to love this! We’re here in land of the tiger, where we
have our Sumatran tiger exhibit behind me her. We’ve got some cubs right now,
they’re like the superstars of cuteness. We also display a plant here called the
corpse flower. It’s stinky, it smells like rotten flesh and it gets huge. So that
was one of the largest flowers in the world, now we’re here with the smallest
flowering plant in the world: duckweed. It grows on the surface of the water, it
pulls nutrients out of the water so it actually cleans the water. It’s great
food for wildlife and ducks love it! We like to avoid chemicals and keep it
natural. You know what’s natural? Fire! Meet the
weed dragon. Working outside, taking care of plants
and educating our guests about the world around us, I am what I want to be when I
grow up. Houston Snead, Plant Keeper. Jacksonville, Florida.

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