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What Do Zookeepers Do?

Thursday, July 22, 2021

What do the Zookeepers do at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens?

You might have seen our Central Florida zookeepers in an encounter while you were admiring the animals, or maybe when one answered a question about your favorite animal.

What Do Zookeepers Do?

If you’ve been to our zoo in Orlando, you’ve probably admired everything from our clouded leopards to our poison dart frogs. You might have fed a giraffe or met PJ, the Indian rhino. But all of our fun family activities would be impossible if our animals weren’t cared for by our zookeepers.


You might have seen our Central Florida zookeepers in an encounter while you were admiring the animals, or maybe when one answered a question about your favorite animal. It might seem like the zookeepers are just there to monitor the animals, but their role is vital to ensuring that the animals are taken care of at all times.


Zookeepers have to be ready 365 days a year, rain or shine. July contains National Zookeeper Week, so in honor of our awesome keepers, we wanted to share more about what zookeepers do so you can appreciate them as much as we do! Here are the most common questions we get asked about zookeepers:


  1. What’s the day-to-day of a zookeeper?

A zookeeper’s day can look different depending on where they work or the animals they are caring for, but no matter the task, zookeepers ensure that animals are safe, healthy and happy. Typically, a zookeeper’s day consists of:


  • Cleaning and maintaining animal habitats
  • Preparing food and feeding animals
  • Training animals so there can be safe exams and interactions
  • Observing animals’ behavior throughout the day
  • Checking for signs of sickness
  • Helping with medical treatments
  • Speaking with the public


Many zookeepers are also involved research projects, field work and conservation organizations on top of their daily duties. It’s not uncommon for zookeepers to be educators as well. Whether they’re answering guests’ questions at an encounter or giving a talk, zookeepers are always sharing their knowledge.


At our Sanford Zoo, zookeepers do all of these things, sharing knowledge with visitors and making sure our animals have great lives.


  1. What skills are needed to be a zookeeper?

Zookeepers are animal experts. They must understand animal behavior, how to care for and handle different types of wildlife and training techniques. Although a great understanding of wildlife is necessary to be a zookeeper, there are many other skills that it takes to be successful when caring for wildlife. Being a zookeeper at a zoo in Central Florida also requires:


  • Attention to detail
  • Strong intuition
  • Physical fitness
  • Patience
  • Interpersonal skills


  1. How do I become a zookeeper?

According to the American Association of Zoo Keepers, a degree isn’t always necessary to find a job as a zoo keeper, but it is becoming increasingly common for jobs to require. Many zookeepers have a degree in biology, zoology, environmental studies or life sciences. Many zookeepers continue their education by attending workshops, conferences and certificate programs every year. Zookeepers are passionate about expanding their knowledge and learning how to adapt to their ever-growing field.


So there you have it! Our Florida zoo wouldn’t exist without the hard work our keepers put in.

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Orlando and decide to visit us, be sure to say hi to the people in the green polos—our keepers! Start planning your visit here.




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