Press Release: 07/12/2012

Oakland Zoo Celebrates National Zoo Keeper Week

Contact:
Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR
(510) 632-9525 ext. 130
nmora@oaklandzoo.org

Oakland, CA, July 12, 2012

In recognition of the dedication of zoo keepers and aquarists, Oakland Zoo is joining the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) and zoos across the nation celebrate National Zoo Keeper Week July 15-21.

Oakland Zoo employs more than thirty-eight zoo keepers to provide quality humane animal care to over 660 animals (from large mammals to very small insects) that currently live at the Zoo.

“Providing essential care for sick and aging animals is one of the critical ways the Zoo addresses animal care needs,” said Dr. Joel Parrott, President and CEO of Oakland Zoo. “Most animals live significantly longer in a zoo than they might in the wild, which creates unique veterinary care needs. The Zoo must retain quality veterinarians and animal specialists to adequately address animals’ medical needs.”

“National Zoo Keeper Week is an opportunity for us to reward keepers for the hard work and dedication that they put forth every day,” said Colleen Kinzley, Director of Animal Care, Conservation, and Research. “Zoo keepers work in the rain, mud, cold, and heat to properly care for animals. This type of career involves physical labor, and it’s definitely not glamorous. We do it because we love animals.”

“The American Association of Zoo Keepers is excited to announce National Zoo Keeper Week,” said Shane Good, President of the American Association of Zoo Keepers, inc. “This national celebration is in recognition of Zoo keepers, aquarists, and the animal care professionals in our nation's zoological parks and aquariums. Zoo keepers serve as animal care experts, frontline educators, and conservationists. We are proud to have zoo keepers recognized for the important work they do on behalf of wildlife and conservation.”

Created by AAZK, Inc, National Zoo Keeper Week is celebrated each year beginning on the third Sunday in July. During the week, zoos nationwide honor animal care professionals and the work they do in animal care, conservation, and education. There are approximately 6,000 animal care professionals in the United States.

To help increase public awareness about the need to preserve our precious habitats and the animals which inhabit them and to recognize the roles that zookeepers play in animal conservation and education, the American Association of Zoo Keepers invites zoos, aquariums, and their guests to participate in National Zoo Keeper Week.

ABOUT AAZK
The American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK)a non-profit volunteer organization made up of professional zookeepers and other interested persons dedicated to professional animal care and conservation. The mission of AAZK is to advance excellence in the zoo keeping profession, foster effective communication beneficial to animal care, support deserving conservation projects, and promote the preservation of our natural resources and animal life. For more information, visit www.aazk.org.

ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO:

The Bay Area's award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid's activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks. For more information please visit our website at http://www.oaklandzoo.org.


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