Jennifer Robertson, pictured with Maya, a snow leopard


courtesy the Philadelphia Zoo

As the permanent keeper at the big cat exhibit at the Philadelphia Zoo, known as the KeyBank Big Cat Falls, alumna Jennifer Robertson, pictured with Maya, a snow leopard, knows how to bond with her 19 cats, be it lion, tiger, leopard, or jaguar. It’s called respect. “I let them be the cat and me be the person,” says Robertson CC’97, an animal science major who has traveled extensively to observe animals in their natural habitats. With this mutual understanding established, she is free to provide her cats with top-flight health care and otherwise oversee the popular exhibition space, which features living accommodations to optimize the animals’ quality of life—a top priority at the zoo, which, like Robertson, is a big proponent of conservation, sustainability, and protecting endangered species. Learn more at