Progress Report 2018 digital

For now, Sotkovsky says her favorite part of the job is what other people receive from it. Like the time she engaged two elderly ladies in a conversation about the reproductive cycle of kangaroos, which is super interesting she says with the nonchalance of someone discussing the latest blockbuster. When she’s asked a question she doesn’t know, it’s a new opportunity to learn. You can bet that next time she will be prepared to answer it. “I feel like our lives aren’t nearly as curious as they should be,” she explained. “When you get to bring that out in people, and you see it on their faces, it’s really nice. Giving back to the community in that sense is one of my best experiences.” That and her first time feeding the giraffes. Or the end of the day when she’s surrounded by bright-eyed lorikeets. Or the time she had lunch with Moana, a western lowland gorilla. They bonded over art and vegetables, an exchange that was so beautiful, Sotkovsky said, it almost brought her to tears. “People think you’re this really interesting person because you work at the zoo. I feel very proud to put on that uniform.” And yes, she has met Jack Hanna. “I had this whole speech planned out in my head. I was going to thank him, and tell him that I was a big fan and I really appreciate everything he does. All I could do was gawk and ask him to sign my book.” He happily obliged, also autographing some photographs and a hat. So now all she has to do is look up for a little inspiration from her idol.  REACH 8