Naples woman on CBS
By MARK S. KRZOS, MKRZOS@NEWS-PRESS.COMANDREA
STETSON, SPECIAL TO THE NEWS-PRESS
Published by news-press.com on August 12, 2005
Hall: 31-year-old ex-zookeeper
Cindy Hall, a 31-year-old former zookeeper at the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, will be one of 16 contestants on the CBS hit reality series "Survivor."
The Naples resident will make her first appearance when the show's 11th season starts at 8 p.m., Sept. 15.
This season, 16 castaways will be stranded for 39 days amid ancient Mayan ruins and the harsh Central American jungles of Guatemala. Hall is there now.
The winner will receive $1 million.
Cindy Hall is not allowed to speak publicly until she wins or is voted off the show. But her twin sister, Mindy Hall, talked about her on Thursday.
Mindy Hall, 31, said her sister has always wanted a chance to live in the jungle.
"She's always wanted to live outside and be surrounded by nature and the environment," said Mindy of Cincinnati.
Before heading to Guatemala, Mindy said her sister gained 12 pounds so she wouldn't get too thin on the show. She said Cindy Hall had seen how skinny survivors get after several weeks on the show so she wanted to gain weight and bulk up before leaving.
Mindy said her sister's lifestyle in Naples will help her survive.
"She's accustomed to the heat because she worked outside every day,'' Hall said. "She's not going to be affected by the heat."
She also knows Cindy won't be frightened by the wild animals in Guatemala since her job involved all sorts of creatures.
The twins grew up as nature lovers in Kentucky. Mindy said she and her sister would spend their days building a treehouse and playing in the woods. They also loved to camp out in their backyard.
She said this was the fifth time her sister tried out for "Survivor."
"She always had being on 'Survivor' as a goal," Mindy said. "She is a strong person both mentally and physically. For her, it's proving her mental and physical strength."
According to the CBS Web site, Hall was born and raised in Maysville, Ky., and spent three years studying at Ohio State University before moving to Florida.
"She worked here for nine years," said Denise Rendina, the Naples Zoo's director of public relations. "Her former employees wish her luck."
She quit in March.
Tim Tetzlaff, education director for the Naples Zoo, said Hall has the physique to succeed.
"She's physically fit. You don't find someone much fitter than that," he said, remembering an instance where Hall was once mistaken for a body-builder. "Zookeeper work can definitely keep you in incredible shape."
David Tetzlaff, zoo director, says Hall not only cleaned cages and worked with animals, but was part of the zoo's daily animal shows.
"She was a capable, reliable employee," David Tetzlaff says. "She's athletic. She's fit. She's used to working outside in nasty conditions. Physically, I don't see a problem."
According to CBS, Hall applied to be on the show four times.