Meet Beachmont’s Zookeeper

Special to the Journal

For the last several weeks, Declan Philbrick, the six-year-old zoo-keeper on Bradstreet Avenue, has set up his front yard as a zoo. The first thing you observe is that the white picket fence has at least a half dozen snakes winding in, out, and around the slats, their forked tongues moving in the breeze. Some are snakes you might recognize, but some are two-headed, and some are very frightening. The public is warned that some may be of poisonous genus.

Beachmont’s little zookeeper, Declan Philbrick.

The zoo keeper calls out to pedestrians, “Come visit the zoo, free of charge!” Declan welcomes everyone with his sunny smile and more facts and information than you would think a six-year-old could possess. Wearing a mask, and making sure everyone is observing social distancing, he introduces his snakes to the public. He encourages you to look beyond the fence to a group of prehistoric animals, then on to polar animals, bears, a hyena and other African animals, wolves, birds, and sea creatures. Declan takes special pride in his fabulous zoo. He handles the animals with care, and after bringing them to the fence for a closer look, he returns them to their respective enclosures. Every night he gathers each one, and using his wheelbarrow, he transports them inside to their safe sleeping quarters. “It’s a lot of work!”

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