David Gill, the owner and founder of South Lakes Wild Animal Park, said Sarah McClay was "a very passionate girl, very enthusiastic" who was "extremely good at delivering conservation talks. A very valued part of our team."
She was "a very bubbly character, a very happy girl," he added.
Following Ms McClay's death the staff felt they wanted the park to carry on, Mr Gill said.
"There was a huge consensus of opinion that we should carry on. It's not the park's fault if you will. It's not going to do anybody any good if we closed."
More top news
Donald Trump's press secretary will hold his first full briefing today after a weekend in which the administration clashed with the media.
All weekend it felt as though the new administration had a self-destruct button and was desperately searching for it.
Areas of dense freezing fog across the south-east could cause flight delays until at least 10.30am, according to forecasts.