Monday, June 15, 2015

A Re-Visit: You Belong In The Zoo

Originally posted in December 2012, now it's updated:

Have you ever thought about working at a zoo??

The obvious career at the zoo would be a veterinarian, one who specializes in zoo animals. Sometimes a zoo vet will further specialize, working with reptiles, large cats, raptors, swimming mammals, the equine family (horses and their relatives), or animals particular to a certain environment. Vet Technicians are always needed to assist these veterinarians, as well.

There are a lot of other roles to be played in a zoo. Here is a list of some of them:

Animal curator-this is someone who keeps track of the collections in a zoo; so this person might be a curator of mammals, reptiles, aquatic animals, birds, etc.

Curator of Education-Zoos usually have educational programs for students of various ages, who can come and visit and learn about animals in an 'up close and personal' way.
Curator of Exhibits-This person helps to create the exhibits in such a way that is healthy for the animals but still allows the public to view them safely.


Conservation Biologist or Zoologist-These are scientists and biologists who assist in the management of the collection, and who also do research and concentrate on the conservation of wildlife (being aware of endangered species).


Zoo Keepers-these are the people responsible for the day to day care of the animals, including making sure each environment is kept clean, noting when an animal needs veterinary care, and also managing the food for the animals.
                             Managing food at the London Zoo. Notice the 'wall' of bananas
                                   Also interesting, he is wearing a chef's shirt just the same as if he was cooking for people.

Registrar-This person tracks the collection and keeps an 'inventory' of every animal in the zoo.

Director and Assistant Director-These are the people responsible for the management of the whole zoo.

Directors of Research-Research is needed on which animals to obtain and what kind of environment they need.

Docents-These are people who volunteer to share their knowledge of animals with zoo visitors.

Personnel and Volunteer Coordinators-These people manage the people who work and volunteer at the zoo.

Operations-Maintenance-People are needed to keep the zoo running, which includes the power grids, utilities, landscaping for the grounds, keeping the buildings in working order, repairing broken fencing, and replenishing supplies, and the task of keeping the zoo clean is never-ending.

Special Events Manager-When the zoo hosts a special event, such as 'Zoo Boo' at Como Park Zoo, this person would be in charge of the event and would make sure it happens successfully.

Gift Shop Manager-Most zoos have gift shops and need people to run them.

As with any business, there would be a need for Public Relations and Marketing; Fund-raising; Accounting and Chief Financial Officer; Membership Managers; and records management.

Here are some websites about zoos and aquariums:  Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Inernational Exotic Animal Sanctuary

The Minnesota Zoo:

Como Zoo:

If you love the zoo, think about one of these careers....When someone asks about your job, you can honestly say you work with monkeys and rhinos!

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