Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Zookeeper in Calgary?
We offer a hands-on training program for this hands-on career. Zoo keeping is an exciting profession because you get to work with animals, you work mainly outside and with your hands, and you get to be immersed in the exciting world of scientific discovery.
Zoo keeping is also a very competitive profession. Many zoos have dozens of applications for open positions, so it’s hard to get started. To find out if you really want to be a zookeeper, take the following quiz:
1. Do you like hard work?
Working with animals isn’t glamorous. You have to be able to lift heavy objects, be on your feet throughout the day, and constantly meet the needs of the animals. You will likely only get to rest once you reach home at the end of the day. If you thrive on hard work, this is a great choice for you.
2. Are you interested in science?
While most zoos employ full-time veterinarians along with their zoo keeping staff, animal care workers must also understand principles of science. You will have to know about the habits of individual animals, including their sleep schedules, normal behaviours, diets, common illnesses, and much more. Often, zookeepers are also interested in wildlife conservancy, biology, forestry, or ecology.
3. Are you a careful observer?
Zookeepers are the first line of defense for a sick animal. While veterinarians can diagnose and treat an animal, a zookeeper will often be the first person to recognize a problem with the animal. Since they spend so much time with the animals, zookeepers recognize abnormal behaviour and can reach a vet before a serious problem develops.
4. Are you a good record keeper?
Zookeepers have to constantly keep records about the animals in a zoo. They record their diets, behaviours, height and weight measurements, fecal content, etc. Zookeepers are constantly aware of how the animals are doing, and they keep good records to back that knowledge up.
5. Do you have a strong stomach?
Taking care of an animal is a lot like taking care of a baby: you deal with a lot of poop. You’ll have to keep the animals’ enclosures free of fecal matter to avoid spreading disease. You’ll also have to clean up after the animals when they are sick, clean their leftover food, and occasionally bathe the animals themselves. Expect a lot of pungent odours.
6. Can you be patient and kind?
If you can’t last 10 minutes of babysitting without getting frustrated, you are unlikely to do well taking care of a wild animal. Animals communicate differently than humans, so you’ll need to learn how the animals you care for express emotions like fear, anger, love, and happiness. Good zookeepers are calm even when an animal isn’t.
If you answered yes to these questions, zoo keeping is the profession for you! Start your career today by enrolling in our Zoo Technology Program.