Love for animals keeps couple volunteering at the zoo year after year

Talking to zoo visitors brings joy to couple

DENVER - Denver Zoo volunteers Brenda and Peter Heir met nearly a decade ago when Brenda was visiting the zoo Peter worked at in Australia.

“Animals have been a big part of my life,” Peter told Denver7. “I was a zoo keeper before I met Brenda, so it just became natural that I volunteer here at the zoo.”

Now the couple regularly volunteer at the zoo answering questions at the hippopotamus exhibit and Tropical Discovery.  The fish are Brenda's favorite animals.

“Any time I can get a person to say ‘I didn’t know a fish could do that’ I know I’ve scored because people don’t look at fish that way,” Brenda said.

While they enjoy being around the animals, it’s a love of working with people that keeps them going.

“Every once and a while I have to remember I am really helping someone because I am having so much fun,” Brenda adds.  “Learning about the animals, talking about the animals, it’s just a very social experience and I get a whole lot out of it.”

For all their hard work, the Heir’s have been honored by Denver7 and U.S. Bank for Making Things Possible, but they don’t do it for the accolades.

“Someone like our age, we have time on our hands and we have a brain and we have a heart and we just like to go out and use them in positive ways with people and because we love the animals to help with the understanding of the animals,” Brenda said.

You can visit the Denver Zoo’s website to learn more about the volunteer opportunities available for kids and adults.

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