In honor of National Zoo Keeper Week, we’d like to take some time to recognize all that our amazing zoo keepers do!
Many people probably think of zoo keepers as having the best, most fun job because they get to “play” with all the cool creatures in the zoo; in reality, their job is much more than that and requires lots of hard work!
Our keepers feed and care for all the animals (including hundreds of off-display animals) every single day of the year–even holidays! This also includes cleaning up after them…and that can be a pretty messy job at times. When they’re not caring for the animals, they’re showing them off to visitors in our Program Center, introducing them to people for special animal encounters in our exhibit gallery, or educating visitors about them throughout the zoo. And let’s not forget about where the animals dwell: the exhibits themselves. We do our best to keep all of our exhibit areas clean, neat, and looking good for our guests. The staff responsible? Yup, you guessed it– ZOO KEEPERS.
Tending to the animals, exhibits areas, and visitors keeps them busy enough, but in addition to that, our zoo keepers also transport various animals for off-site lectures (assembly programs) for schools, clubs, camps, etc. They present a 45-60 minute program with live animals, then trek back to the zoo to unload everything. While we know they enjoy interacting with new people in new places on these little “field trips” away from the zoo, off-site lectures still involve a lot of work for our keepers.
Last but not least, our keepers travel (on a rotating basis) throughout North America to manage and maintain our various traveling exhibits. For 6 weeks at a time they stay in an unfamiliar city, work 7 days a week, and care for the animals and exhibit while it’s on display at another institution.
Being a zoo keeper requires enthusiasm, patience, knowledge, and an unbelieveable work ethic; our keepers possess all of these traits and always fulfill their duties with a smile. We’ve got a great team of zoo keepers here, and while we appreciate them year-round for their dedication, we’re happy to say a big THANK YOU to all of our keepers as a part of National Zoo Keeper Week! “Keep” up the great work!