animal care at The Grove

our practices

The Grove’s staff and volunteers are passionate care givers, striving to make each animal comfortable and healthy. The long, healthy life-span of the animals at The Grove is a testament to the great work our team is doing. The Grove incorporates live animals into many programs, exhibits and events so visitors can experience and learn about the field of natural history. At The Grove, people of all ages can study and learn about the animals that live in our region, but have rarely been encountered up-close.

Although The Grove’s animals are used for educational purposes, they are always treated with kindness and respect. The Grove staff researches each animal’s habitat in order to ensure a healthy and safe environment when building their enclosures. The staff makes it their duty to provide a comfortable environment that closely mimics the animal’s natural habitat inside the enclosures. Most importantly, the staff takes into account any physical ailments the animal has when arriving at The Grove and adapts the enclosure to allow them to be safely active. Staff consults with experts to deliver the best care for each animal’s dietary and physical needs. Thanks to close relationships with local wildlife rehabbers, herpetologists and specialty animal veterinarians, staff is able to consult many field experts on a regular basis.

Patricia Kuntzmann, the animal care supervisor at The Grove, has more than 40 years of experience working with animals. She had worked as a zoo keeper at Philadelphia and Lincoln Park Zoos and an animal rehabber before coming to The Grove. Her expertise provides strong training to new volunteers and staff about animal care, and she is able to handle most basic medical attention needs for the animals . The animals are routinely monitored by staff and volunteers, who are trained to watch for any abnormalities. In case of a medical emergency, The Grove’s go-to exotic animal veterinarian is readily available to provide medical attention.

endangered species

The Grove holds a state permit for keeping endangered species, state and country specific permits for collecting specimens, and a federal permit for keeping migratory birds for educational purposes.


The Grove’s on-staff animal specialists work with each volunteer, putting them through a comprehensive training before allowing them to handle any of the animals. Each volunteer must go through a two-hour orientation, followed by two-hour training sessions for six to eight weeks. During this time, the staff carefully observes the volunteers to make sure they are connecting well with the animals. Staff makes sure to fully prepare each volunteer so the animals are in good hands.

If you are interested in applying to become one of The Grove’s Animal Care Volunteers, click below. Please note that this is a very popular program and there may be waiting lists for certain days and time slots.

Patricia Kuntzmann, Animal Care Supervisor

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