If I Ran the Zoo

What would you do if you ran the zoo? You’d be pretty busy! Zoos attract huge audiences of visitors – at least when the sun is shining.

People stream in to see the strange and wonderful representatives of the animal kingdom. Nearly all are interested in having fun, not learning, so the challenge for zoos and aquaria is to sneak in a little learning or appreciation of animals and ecosystems while everyone is enjoying themselves.

Animals in confined spaces need a lot of care. Food has to be prepared carefully every day and the enclosures need to be cleaned frequently. It might be fun to play with the sea otter and penguins, but the job is more about cleaning up after them.

Management types run the zoo and fund raisers put on events to bring in the bucks. PR at a zoo is more kinetic than at most museums as they sponsor events and activities all the time. Facilities maintenance is a big issue, especially if your footprint spans acres and includes many buildings.

In our Animal Jobs section you can find information about:

People who have a background in animal care or biology are needed. In aquaria they make sure the water is of the highest quality and that no diseases are introduced into the tanks. Experience tending aquariums is required.

Zoos and aquariums use a lot of people to make presentations to visitors. These can be volunteers or paid staff.

Zoos and aquaria can pay low wages as many people think these would be cool jobs. If you think a zoo job would be tops, go to The Association of Zoos and Aquaria website: www.aza.org. The AZA lists many jobs around the country. They also hold professional training sessions and an annual conference.

To find zoos, go to the site: www.officialusa.com

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