Celebrating ZooKeepers and BeyondErin Scott, Senior Manager, Brand, Marketing, and Public Relations July 19, 2021
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is excited to participate in the annual National Zookeeper Week, now through Saturday, July 24. This is a time where we take a concerted moment to share our appreciation for the incredible passion, expertise, and hard work of our amazing animal care professionals. Day in and day out, these knowledgeable and dedicated specialists provide the highest level of care to the over 500 animals here at The Living Desert and have been for over 50 years.
Hosted by the American Association of ZooKeepers (AAZK), this year’s theme is Improvise, Adapt, Persist: Keep On Keepin’ On. And after the past 16 months we have all been through, I could not agree more. Through some of the most difficult circumstances, our incredible animal care team persevered through so much to ensure the animals in our care continued to thrive. We are so grateful to them and hope they know how much we appreciate them.
Although this week is dedicated specifically to the animal care team, I believe it is also fitting to share a note of appreciation for the other amazing team members that make The Living Desert so special. With a passion for conservation, commitment to education, and dedication to ensuring the best day ever for our members and guests, each person plays a special role on The Living Desert’s team.
In honor of National Zookeeper Week, you’re invited to share your note of appreciation with our incredible team. Click the link below to share a note, story, or experience and we’ll be sure to share it with The Living Desert team.
Did You Know...
- Animal care professionals, or zookeepers, are highly trained professionals, most with bachelor’s degrees in biology, zoology, science, or agriculture. Keepers also participate in continuing education programs, certifications, and conferences to stay current with best practices and trends.
- The zookeeping profession is multi-faceted. With a breadth and depth of knowledge, animal care professionals not only provide daily care, feeding, and husbandry for the animals, but they also work on behavioral training to support each animal’s healthcare needs, provide enriching experiences to ensure optimal wellbeing, and interact with guests through keeper chats and educational programming.
- Besides our incredible animal care team, an additional group of individuals with diverse experiences and skill sets support the well-run functioning of the Zoo and Gardens.
- Conservation – From pursuing on grounds conservation projects to building partnerships around the world, this team works tirelessly to protect the wildlife and wild places we all love.
- Gardens – Propagating, growing, and maintaining the over 55 gardens and 1400 plant species lies with this mighty group who preserve through the elements to ensure our beautiful gardens continue to thrive.
- Education Engagement – Ensuring that the next generation understands the importance of desert ecosystems and motivates this group of educators to create programming that is engaging, informative, and inspiring.
- Member and Guest Services – From a welcoming smile as you enter the Zoo, a memorable tour, or a helpful interaction during your visit, our guest services team works to ensure every member and guest has the best day ever.
- Maintenance and Facilities – Our dedicated team of maintenance and custodial all-stars diligently ensure the Zoo is clean and safe, as well as build new habitats and guest offerings.
- Administration – From operations, safety, and finance to marketing, human resources, and infrastructure, there is a breadth of professionals who support the internal operations of The Living Desert.
- Development and Fundraising – With a passion for connecting donors to the mission of The Living Desert, the development team stewards contributions to support the Zoo’s current operations and future plans.
- Volunteers – Our passionate and devoted volunteer corps interpret the Zoo’s animals and plants and educate and inspire our guests to take conservation action.