Jean Chaffee

Jean Chaffee is the widow of Dr. Paul Chaffee, for whom the zoo is named. He often shared interesting stories with her about the zoo's animals. After his death, Jean spent five years researching the animals at the Chaffee Zoo. She wrote the books because she feels these stories should be shared and enjoyed as a part of history. Being an educator for 28 years, Jean understands what attracts children to books. The stories are full of animal sounds, expressions, and interactive opportunities.

As a docent and tour guide for more than 20 years, Jean counts among her favorite zoo activities the handling of raptors (owls, hawks, and kestrels). The author of seven TRUE ZOO TO YOU books, she has given more than 150 lectures and presentations throughout the Central Valley to civic organizations, schools and local groups.

Jean loves to travel and has visited over 60 countries and loves learning about the indigenous cultures. Her vast knowledge is highlighted in her TRUE ZOO TO YOU presentations These 45 minute interactive presentations are adaptable to children ages pre-school through 8th grade. Time is included for children to view and touch Jean’s bio facts collection and to have the author sign books.

Her four young grandchildren are avid fans of the zoo, of course.

Ernie Hergenroeder is a professional illustrator, his beautifully colored pages make Jean Chaffee's True Zoo to You Stories come alive. Ernie also grew up in Fresno and often went to the zoo to visit his favorite animal, Nosey.

For more information please contact Jean Chaffee at 559-431-4026 or feel free to email her at

Note: For a signed book or a personalized autograph, when checking out choose "Personalization" and enter the personalized text or a note that says you'd like the book signed.