Weather Forecast


It's 20 years at the zoo for Dr. Jim Rasmussen

Submitted photo.

 Dr. Jim Rasmussen’s lifelong love of animals has brought him to the Minnesota Zoo, where he works today as senior veterinarian.  A 17-year resident of River Falls, Rasmussen helps care for over 500 species of Zoo animals ranging from Bali mynahs to Malayan tapirs.

In his role as senior veterinarian, Rasmussen is responsible for health and well being of more than 4,000 animals at the Zoo. His primary duties include overseeing the hospital and hospital staff, maintaining a preventative medicine program for the animal collection and providing veterinary care for the collection animals.

Originally from Milwaukee,  (where his family still resides), Rasmussen received a B.S. degree from the UW-Milwaukee and a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degree from the UW-Madison.  He also completed a residency program in primate medicine at University of California-Davis. He lived in Lakeville, Minn., during his early years at the zoo and loves that Minnesota is a “progressive state” whose residents value wildlife and the natural environment. However, he still appreciates the cheese, beer, brat, and polka culture of Milwaukee.

When asked what his favorite part of working at the Minnesota Zoo is, Rasmussen replies: “I love working with so many great animals and the staff who care for them.” While he can’t name just one favorite animal at the Zoo, his top contenders include Malayan tapirs, wolverines, white-cheeked gibbons, and American Cream draft horses.

The Minnesota Zoo is located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. Open 363 days per year, the Zoo is one of the State’s premier cultural attractions serving more than 1.3 million visitors annually. With a mission to connect people, animals and the natural world, the Zoo is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). Learn more at or by calling 952.431.9500.