Skip to main content

Style: Folsom | El Dorado Hills

Longtime Folsom Volunteer Remains Dedicated to Zoo's Mission

Feb 27, 2015 12:05PM ● Published by Amber Foster

Although Roberta Ratcliff always loved having pets as a child, she never imagined that someday she’d be helping care for some of the world’s most exotic animals.

One day, she and a friend impulsively decided to volunteer at the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary, but their adventure didn’t get off to the most auspicious start—they accidentally got locked in a cage with one of the zoo’s large birds, Victor the vulture. Far from being deterred by the experience, Ratcliff had found her niche.

Over two decades later, she remains passionate about the Zoo’s mission to provide sanctuary to rescued wild animals. In addition to her part-time volunteer work that includes animal care, groundskeeping and outreach marketing, she writes their monthly newsletter, Keeping Track, available online through the Friends of the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary website.

In her columns, she often shares personal anecdotes of her experiences with the animals. She still gets emotional when she recalls the day Kaylie, a macaque (monkey), was recovered from a research facility and got her first glimpse of the sky.

“She walked out all by herself, looked up, saw the sky and was like, ‘whoa,’” Ratcliff recalls.

And while Ratcliff has two grown children, six grandchildren and one great grandchild, the Zoo’s animals have also become like family members.

Which one is her favorite? “I love all of them,” she says with a laugh. “It’s like having a favorite child. You’re attached.”

For more about Roberta Ratcliff and other local happenings and information, be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style – Folsom El Dorado Hills edition. Find your copy here.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to the Style - Folsom El Dorado Hills free newsletter to stay informed

Today, Community, In Print zoo animals