Featured Image Credit: wernicke.ca
By Lindsay Edgar
They aren’t rushing into burning buildings or saving cats from trees, but they are helping save the planet.
Step into the shoes of zookeepers – the unspoken, underrated heroes of the conservation community. As guests, we take for granted that zoo animals are healthy when we visit. What we don’t see is all of the behind the scenes work that goes into their 24/7 care.
Zookeepers are part of an important team. They are responsible for keeping direct communication with the zoo veterinarians if an animal’s health is anything but normal. They generally specialize in a group of animals and work both indoors and outdoors. No matter what the weather, zookeepers are working! Their daily tasks range from training and handling the animals to educating park visitors about the threats their wildlife friends face. Because captive animals often live longer and have a higher risk of illness, a large part of a keeper’s day is filled with observation. Paying attention to details is crucial.
Zookeepers say that there is a repetitiveness in cleaning cages (yuck!) but the rewards outweigh the dirty work. Just being so close to the animals is a thrill! Obviously, a keeper’s love for animals goes unsaid but their dedication to conservation is what has us saying, “thanks guys!”