Zookeeper Kaitiaki Rawhi Whakaaturanga

Zookeepers care for animals in zoos, wildlife parks and aquariums.

Zookeepers may do some or all of the following:

  • clean, feed and inspect animals
  • clean animal enclosures and the wider environment
  • control pests
  • observe and record animal behaviour
  • provide activities for the animals
  • support animal breeding programmes
  • treat animals for minor injuries and illnesses under veterinary supervision
  • design and maintain animal environments
  • assist the public, answer their questions and give educational talks
  • contribute to animal research and conservation
  • keep up-to-date on animal welfare, latest animal research and conservation information
  • maintain records and carry out any general office work relating to animal care.

Physical Requirements

Zookeepers need to be reasonably fit, healthy and strong.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for zookeepers includes:

  • work at a zoo or wildlife park
  • work or work experience for the Department of Conservation
  • veterinary or vet nursing work
  • work with animals or the environment.

Personal Qualities

Zookeepers need to be:

  • empathetic, patient and concerned about animals
  • able to handle stressful emergency situations
  • good at presenting information and speaking in public
  • practical
  • organised.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for zookeepers includes:

  • work at a zoo or wildlife park
  • work or work experience for the Department of Conservation
  • veterinary or vet nursing work
  • work with animals or the environment.

Zookeepers can earn around $39K-$50K per year per year.

Zookeepers may progress to become head keepers or move into zoo management roles.

Zookeepers may specialise in caring for certain species of animals such as primates.

Zookeeper

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