Profession: Wildlife attendant and veterinary technician
UH degrees: BS in animal sciences, Mānoa ’02
Roots: Mānoa, Oʻahu
Family: Married eight years to Patricia
Pets: Three dogs, a cat and a bird
Secret to maintaining harmony in a home full of animals: Keep them all well fed!
Web extra: Penguins in Paradise
Caring for hurt animals came naturally to Kevin Murata from a young age. “I used to bring home everything that I could, that my parents would allow. Not cats and dogs, but, like, bring home pigeons that had been hurt, nurse them back to health.”
Today he spends most of his time caring for the birds, fish and penguins at Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort and Spa. A large part of his job involves caring for the penguins and introducing them to guests in a way that is safe for both the birds and the guests.
“When a lot of people see that interaction, they just assume that these penguins are cuddly little teddy bears, which in truth they’re not. They can inflict major damage—-I’ve actually seen that happen many times before. They’re unpredictable, just like any wild animal, so we treat them as such.”
Murata also works part time assisting at a veterinary office, but finds working with exotic animals more rewarding.
As for hobbies, his work schedule keeps him so busy that the question gives him pause. “I used to enjoy fishing,” he says with a laugh.
Video web extra: Penguins in Paradise
Kevin Murata talks about his work with blackfoot, or jackass, penguins at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort and Spa in Honolulu.