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Zoo Keepers?

Discussion in 'ZooChat Community & Website' started by littlezoo_keeper, 21 Jun 2018.

  1. littlezoo_keeper

    littlezoo_keeper Member 5+ year member

    Joined:
    21 Jun 2018
    Posts:
    6
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Hey guys! New to this zoo chat malarkey but always followed it.

    Any zoo-keepers here?

    I'm an animal keeper, not so much what I'd call a 'proper' zoo keeper just yet, but a keeper in a collection. (I'm from Bristol by the way!).
    I'm interested in the pathways you took to get to the next step deeper into the industry- I'm not keen on uni but I have several related diplomas, qualifications and an apprenticeship- as well as 5 years in animal collections (some with 'zoo' species!).
     
  2. Echobeast

    Echobeast Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    Joined:
    27 Apr 2017
    Posts:
    950
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    I’m a keeper in the US. Here it’s pretty much a requirement that keepers have at least a 2 year degree in some sort of biological science. Many go to zookeeping colleges. I got my 4 year bachelor’s degree in evolutionary biology and ecology. But experience is also extremely important and it’s unheard of for someone to get a full time keeper position without proper animal care experience whether that’s through internships, volunteering, or part-time work. I started by working in guest services and got my foot in the door that way. It took a while but I just got hired full time this year and this is going to be my 9th summer working at a zoo in some capacity. It’s tough and competitive but it’s a small world and everyone knows everyone so if you impress at one facility, it makes it much easier to get a job. I’m not sure how it works in Europe but I’m assuming apprenticeships work similarly to internships and give you the proper experience you need. Also, don’t say no to anything (well there are a few things you should say no to). Be willing to travel for a job. Be willing to work with species you never thought you’d want to work with. When I first wanted to be a keeper, I thought all I wanted to work with were primates and pachyderms but in my new job, I’ve loved working with smaller birds, reptiles, and mammal species. Best of luck! PM me if you have any specific questions!
     
  3. Smannsaker

    Smannsaker Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    Joined:
    2 Feb 2016
    Posts:
    57
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
  4. natel12

    natel12 Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    Joined:
    29 Dec 2016
    Posts:
    494
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Internships, internships, internships. That is all.