Press Release: 07/19/2013

Oakland Zoo Honors Zoo Keepers During National Zoo Keeper Week

Contact:
Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR
(510) 632-9525 x130
nmora@oaklandzoo.org

Oakland, CA July 19, 2013

In recognition of the dedication of zoo keepers and aquarists, Oakland Zoo is joining the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) (www.aazk.org) and zoos across the nation celebrate National Zoo Keeper Week July 21-27.

Oakland Zoo employs more than thirty-eight zoo keepers to provide quality humane animal care to over 660 animals (from African elephants to otters to tiny ants and insects) that currently live at the Zoo.

"We have dedicated zoo keepers and are truly blessed to have dozens of staff members that work day in and day out with our diverse collection of animals," said Dr. Joel Parrott, President and CEO of Oakland Zoo. "Many of the animal species featured throughout Oakland Zoo are ambassadors to animals in the wild that are at risk of becoming extinct. Our Zoo Keepers are advocates for the animals they care for and they strive to make the public aware of issues facing animals in the wild. We work really hard at spreading the message of conservation and our keepers play an integral role in that process."

"National Zoo Keeper Week is an opportunity for us to acknowledge Keepers for what they do and thank them for the care they continue to provide our animals at Oakland Zoo," said Colleen Kinzley, Director of Animal Care, Conservation, and Research. "One of the core beliefs our Keepers all embody is educating the public about pets, specifically which animals do and do not make good pets. Besides educating the public about the animals, our keepers go to great lengths to provide the most natural and enriching environment for the creatures in their care. Not only do the animals benefit from the creative ideas, all of the keepers share their successes and new ways to keep animals stimulated. We all learn from each other and no day working with animals is ever the same."

"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 zoo keepers 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 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.

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