NATIONAL ZOO KEEPERS WEEK
The third week in July celebrates National Zoo Keeper Week by focusing on efforts made by all zoo keepers who protect and preserve our wildlife and vanishing habitats.
Zoo keepers are educators and wildlife ambassadors. This week-long observance raises awareness of the remarkable work they do year-round. This week we take time and acknowledge zoo keeper efforts by acknowledging the time they take to teach people more about wildlife, and how to enhance conservation efforts.
Unsurprisingly, there is a shortage of qualified zoo keepers everywhere. Filling these positions can be challenging. However, the American Association of Zoo Keepers maintains an active list of opportunities. Furthermore, zoos also encourage high school students to browse job openings to help prepare for a career as a zoo keeper.
Zoo Keeper Responsibilities
Of course the life of a zookeeper looks like fun. However, there is a lot of work behind-the-scenes we don’t normally see. For example, the zoo environment can be dirty and smelly, not to mention physically exhausting. In addition, zoo keepers also work in all weather conditions, ranging from scorching summer heat to freezing winter blizzards. Let’s not forget the dangers of working closely with wild animals, too.
Besides taking care of animals, the daily tasks of a zoo keeper often vary. In some cases, a zoo keeper handles mechanical repairs or performs record-keeping tasks. In other cases, they also work on advertising to draw customers into the zoo. Obviously, a zoo keeper wears many hats and is a jack of all trades.
Read about zoo keeping from the American Association of Zoo Keepers. If the profession sounds like something you might be interested in, consider interning at a zoo. Consider volunteering at your local zoo to gain the necessary experience to become a zoo keeper.
Visit your local zoo, take tons of photos and share them all on social media using #NationalZooKeeperWeek.
NATIONAL ZOO KEEPER WEEK HISTORY
In 2007, the American Association of Zoo Keepers worked with the U.S. Congress to make the 3rd week of July National Zoo Keeper Week.