Mother Nature’s Midwives

It's National Zookeeper Week and we are honoring zookeepers everywhere!  These hardworking professionals have made it their life's work to care for the needs of animals and their hard work results in the preservation of hundreds of species around the world. If you think about it, zookeepers are like midwives. But they assist with so much more than birthing. Here's a quick list of activities and responsibilities zookeepers manage on a daily basis. How many of these were you aware of?

1. Zookeepers engage the public and build awareness about various species, inspiring others to take action to save wildlife and preserve habitats.

2. Zookeepers help raise funds for endangered species through professional and personal fundraising programs.

3. Zookeepers research and test various enrichment techniques for the animals in their care. Enrichment ensures the mental and emotional health of the animals!

Zookeepers/vets of Sacramento Zoo in California, USA.
Zookeepers/vets of Sacramento Zoo in California, USA.
Donna Sinclair at Paradise Park, Cornwall in Hayle, England.
Donna Sinclair at Paradise Park, Cornwall in Hayle, England.

5. They consistently study animal scat to determine dietary needs and to monitor overall animal health.

6. Zookeepers network as a professional community to develop and share best practices and solutions for various species.

7. Night and day they clean and clean and clean (and clean some more) animal exhibit enclosures.

8. Zookeepers painstakingly prepare a variety of foods for a range of species, keeping with special diets, feeding schedules and procedures.

9. They help animals in their keep prepare for birthing. This can include building nesting boxes and other contraptions that mimic natural habitat.

10. Keepers train animals to participate in the administration of medications, such that the animal's stress level is minimized.

Keeper at Wellington Zoo in New Zealand.
Keeper at Wellington Zoo in New Zealand.
Keepers at Greenville Zoo, South Carolina, USA.
Keepers at Greenville Zoo, South Carolina, USA.

Red Panda Network acknowledges and honors the role zookeepers play in helping Mother Nature achieve her best work. As midwives, they are helping Mother Nature provide improved lives for so many species worldwide. When it comes to survival of the species, they are invaluable.

Happy National Zookeepers Week!

Keepers at Happy Hollow Zoo in San Jose, California.
Keepers at Happy Hollow Zoo in San Jose, California.

P.S. Zoos from all over the world will be joining us for the first-ever virtual International Red Panda Day on Saturday, September 17th which will feature live chats from red panda keepers! Learn more.