What It’s Really Like to Be a Zookeeper in Australia

The prospect of working as a zookeeper is an thrilling one for a lot of children rising up. If you’re animal obsessed and need to spend a great deal of time open air, the gig absolutely feels like a dream, no?

According to Seek, the position of a zookeeper is to not solely look after animals in conservation applications, however they’re chargeable for the upkeep of the animals’ environments and for managing education schemes linked to the animals they work with.

The position requires a sure stage of bodily health, and gaining {qualifications} may be achieved by way of TAFE programs on animal care or a Bachelor of Zoology and comparable.

As for the typical expertise of a zookeeper, effectively that can differ relying on the individual, the zoo and the animals they look after. But Taronga Zoo Sydney Bird Keeper, Harmony Thompson, has been type sufficient to give us a look into her day-to-day under.

Work It Out: Zookeeping

All the under quotes come from Harmony Thompson – Taronga Zoo Sydney Bird Keeper

What are the most effective components of your job?

Working open air is unquestionably a massive issue for me! Also getting the chance to work on conservation applications is extraordinarily rewarding. During my time at Taronga, I’ve been lucky sufficient to work carefully on two of our legacy species conservation applications, such because the Regent honeyeater.

What are the worst components of your job?

Working in excessive climate, similar to 40+ diploma climate or hail storms. Also, we’re normally open on daily basis of the yr, so this implies you have a tendency to work most public holidays.

Can you stroll us by way of a day in the lifetime of being a zookeeper? (Hours, commonplace duties, challenges and many others.)

Currently, my alarm goes off at 5:00 am, I arrive and begin work on the Bird Team at 6:40 am. The first hour and a half of the morning is devoted to meals preparation for a wide selection of species. After this, I head over to aviaries and begin normal upkeep and housekeeping. This consists of hosing, scrubbing, disinfecting and spot selecting faeces.

Once these duties are accomplished, I feed all animals and spend time sighting and monitoring particular person’s [animals] behaviour, to guarantee everyone seems to be in good well being. I’ve morning tea at 10:15 am to 10:30 am.

After this, my time will both be spent cleansing buckets and big quantities of dishes or finishing additional upkeep or husbandry jobs [day-to-day care of animals like cleaning and feeding, weighing, etc.659]. This takes us to lunch at 12:15 pm and finishes at 1:00 pm.

For the remaining time of the day, I’d end up any duties that I hadn’t completed and do a spherical of afternoon feeds. I additionally like to use a few of this time to squeeze in emails and pc work. Then I end at 3:00 pm. Depending on what we having happening some days are a little extra full-on than others, however I do actually love my job.

What are some feedback or questions on zookeeping that you just hate listening to? 

One remark that I do steadily get is “your job isn’t hard, you work with animals”. I believe most zookeepers would agree with me after I say it positively isn’t a stroll in the park.

What would you say are a few of the greatest misconceptions hooked up to your work? 

One of the most typical misconceptions round zoo maintaining is that you just get to cuddle cute animals all day, on daily basis!

And whereas we might get to work together with animals in a way or one other, Taronga Zoo encourages our animals to stay in an atmosphere as shut to their pure atmosphere as potential. A variety of the species on web site are left to their pure behaviour which doesn’t permit a lot room for human interplay.

So, our days are largely spent doing husbandry, to present the very best quality of life for the animals in our care.


Interested in studying extra about broadly misunderstood careers? Check out our Work It Out items on intercourse work and nursing subsequent.