On International Zookeeper Day, we want to celebrate the hard work, dedication and passion that comes from our keepers each and every day.
Curious to know the inside scoop on what it’s really like to work with animals every day? Check out what a few of ours have to say.
Keeper Aaron, Australian Fauna
Happy animal, happy keeper
"It’s always really rewarding to create enrichment activities for the animals to enjoy. It’s something people can do for their pets as well.
Enrichment offers them a chance to play or interact with something to so they use their natural instincts – it’s always really fulfilling to see them enjoy it.
I try to do as many new things as possible so that our animals have something different and exciting to tackle every day – it can be challenging, but it’s all part of the fun!"
Keeper Bec, Australian Fauna
Teamwork makes the dream work
"One of my favourite parts of this job is the teamwork!
Behind the scenes we’re always brainstorming and thinking up new ways that we can improve our animals lives, whether that’s with enrichment or changing their habitats.
People might think we spend our days just cuddling animals, and while we do get plenty of bonding time, we dedicate a lot of time collaborating to find new ways to give our animals the best possible care."
Keeper Bree, Nocturnal House
You’ll always be kept on your toes
"I love getting to work with a very diverse range of animals and people.
But there’s no such thing as a typical day as a zoo keeper – it’s unpredictable in the best way. The animals run the day!
And I’d have to say, my favorite animal is the radiated tortoise – they’re a lot smarter than you think!"
Keeper Lisa, Asian Carnivores
Relationships are key
"The best part of my day is always going in to feed the otters in the morning, they’re always so happy to see me!
I also love getting to know all of the animals and building up relationships with them, particularly with the sun bears who have had a tougher start to life.
They can be challenging to work with but it’s so rewarding, and it’s so special to get to share their important conservation story with our visitors."
Keeper Mel, Primates
The best way to start a day
"One of my favourite parts of the job is coming in and seeing our animals wake up!
I love seeing the nests they’ve built overnight and watching them get excited for breakfast – it’s a really special way to start the day.
Orangutans are one of my favorites animals to work with. They’re very playful and like to spend time with us. When they’re extra happy to see us, they’ll swing around and do roly-polys!"