It’s National Zookeepers Week!
Monday, July 16, 2012
Annual celebration of animal care professionals includes Bowling for Rhinos on July 20
National Zookeepers Week continues through July 21, and at Zoo Atlanta, the annual celebration features opportunities for both staff and guests to appreciate the achievements of zoo and aquarium professionals throughout the U.S.
More than 50 of the full-time employees at Zoo Atlanta are animal care staff working in four core departments. A career that has become emblematic of the dramatic evolution of the roles played by accredited zoos in the areas of animal welfare, scientific research and conservation, zoological animal care is a highly competitive profession demanding specialized education, training and experience.
National Zookeepers Week is observed annually in July by the American Association of Zookeepers (AAZK), a nonprofit organization with chapters throughout the U.S. A number of Zoo Atlanta keepers are members of the Georgia Chapter of AAZK, which regularly hosts fundraisers benefiting conservation programs and professional development opportunities.
Georgia AAZK’s largest annual event, Bowling for Rhinos, takes place Friday, June 20 at 7 p.m. at Suburban Lanes at 2619 North Decatur Road. Bowlers may purchase three games for $18; other highlights will include a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle. Bowlers of all ages and talents are welcome; proceeds benefit rhino conservation.
“Our animal care staff have our appreciation, admiration and respect every day of the year, but National Zookeepers Week is an important chance to showcase their talent, professionalism and expertise for our Members and guests,” said Raymond King, President and CEO. “I encourage everyone who visits the Zoo to learn more about the work they do and why they do it. Nothing that we do or seek to do at Zoo Atlanta would be possible without everyday commitment from this talented group of team members.”
Animal care professionals at Zoo Atlanta will be treated to a number of keeper-only events this week, including a breakfast, luncheon, ice cream social and Atlanta Braves game, but Members and guests are also encouraged to learn more about the city’s wildest workforce. Staff will discuss their professions during special keeper talks all week, and the Zoo Atlanta Trading Company Gift Shop will feature keeper-recommended items.