This is who we are: Dean Treichel

Editor’s Note: Today we continue a series of video stories about City of Edmonton employees. In their own words. But, first, just a few more of ours. Together, the 14,000 people who work for the City help to imagine, construct, maintain and operate, and animate this place called Edmonton—where we have all decided to build, together, the value of of our lives.

This is our story. This is the story of Dean Treichel “the heart of the Edmonton Valley Zoo.”


Dean Treichel is often called “the heart of the Edmonton Valley Zoo.” Being the operations supervisor at the zoo is his dream job, but it’s a career he came to almost by accident.

More than 39 years ago, while looking for a job as a laboratory technician, Dean started working at the Edmonton Valley Zoo. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to make the zoo a better place for guests, employees, and perhaps, most of all, its resident animals.

Dean feeding a Harbor Seal

Dean feeding food to a Harbor Seal

Through Dean’s role at the zoo and his boundless enthusiasm for his job, he has trained, mentored and empowered countless employees to give their best every day. Because of this, the animals and staff thrive, and the Edmonton Valley Zoo is able to provide high quality education experiences and conservation initiatives that make a difference in the community. On any given day, Dean can be found in a zoo school classroom teaching kids the ins and outs of caring for animals and operating a zoo. Or perhaps he’s up on the wander trail, providing an impromptu guided tour to someone who asked a curious question. Even more likely, he might be focusing on a new idea or thought that could make the zoo even better. Regardless of what the task is, the only goal is improving the zoo and ensuring staff are striving for the highest possible standard.

Dean would be the first to tell anyone that it takes a lot of people and resources to keep the Edmonton Valley Zoo running. However, those who know Dean would say that it’s his passion, commitment, and eagerness to share his knowledge that make the zoo one of the City’s premiere attractions and an excellent place to work.

Dean Treichel is the operations supervisor at the Edmonton Valley Zoo.

He’s worked there for 39 years. In snake years, that’s about 252 years of service. :)

We caught up with Dean to talk about what keeps him going. Here he is in his own words:

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