As the need to protect and preserve our wildlife and vanishing habitats has increased, our role as educators and wildlife ambassadors has become essential. During the third week of July each year, celebrate National Zoo Keeper Week; both you and your animals deserve the recognition.
NZKW Task Force Members
National Zoo Keeper Week
Animal Care Professionals: Wildlife caretakers and conservation ambassadors, both in zoological institutions and around the world.
National Zookeeper Week 2016 is July 17-23. This year NZKW will be highlighting the diversity of keepers and their contributions to global conservation efforts. For the most up to date information on NZKW and chapters across the country, visit AAZK on Facebook. To submit a highlight for an AAZK chapter, obtain a list of NZKW events/fundraiser ideas, or join the NZKW program team, please email the Program Manager at email@example.com.
National Zookeeper Week’s Mission:
To recognize and promote dedicated zoo and aquarium professionals year round, culminating in an annual celebration during the third week in July – National Zookeeper Week.
National Zookeeper Week Goals:
- Promote the dedication and hard work of animal care professionals year round
- Celebrate animal care professionals’ achievements during the third week in July
- Share the accomplishments of AAZK chapters
- Create awareness of AAZK chapters’ dedication to conservation and wildlife to the public
- Communicate the necessity for zoos and aquariums by way of animal care professionalism, research, and fundraising efforts
What is National Zookeeper Week?
As the need to protect and preserve wildlife and their vanishing habitats continues to increase, the animal care professional’s role as educators and conservation ambassadors has become essential. Zoo and aquarium professionals care for hundreds of species, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates.
Three hundred and sixty five days a year, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, in all weather (from hurricanes, to blizzards, to heat waves, and everything in between), keepers have to be ready for anything. They are involved in captive animals’ lives and welfare from birth to death and every moment in between, and often create life long bonds. A keeper’s day can include an array of tasks including cleaning, food preparation and feed out, medical treatment, training, enrichment, landscaping, exhibit design, animal introductions, public outreach and education, and much MUCH more.
Most animal care professionals have bachelor degrees or higher, many with advanced degrees, and continue to advance their education by attending workshops, conferences, and certificate programs annually. They are not just skilled laborers, but professionals who continue to expand their knowledge of an ever advancing field. Working with animals requires constant complex problem solving and progressive learning. Beyond their daily duties, keepers are involved in research projects, field work, and conservation organizations. And yet – most do not earn more than minimum wage, and some even work second jobs.
But, in the end, being a zookeeper, aquarist, aviculturist – whatever you call it, they’re all animal care professionals, and it is more than just a job. It’s a career, it’s a passion, it’s a calling.
THAT’S why we recognize zookeepers year round, and THAT’S why we have a week dedicated to promoting their skills, dedication, and enthusiasm for wildlife to world. Join AAZK every third week in July, to celebrate National Zookeeper Week!
Representative Susan A. Davis introduced House Resolution 509 on June 21, 2007:
Expresses support for the goals and ideals of National Zookeeper Week. Recognizes the contributions zookeepers make to the care and conservation of captive exotic animals and to research, public education, and recreation. Expresses a renewed dedication to the appreciation and preservation of animal wildlife and nature and an invigorated effort to foster conservation projects and increase awareness of the need for preservation.
National Zookeeper Week Documents:
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