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A fantastic National Zookeepers Week

Happy belated National Zookeepers Week (NZKW)! July 16-22 was a week spent celebrating zookeepers nationwide. To show their appreciation for all of the hard work that we do, all of the animals stopped pooping for the entire week and cleaned their own habitats for us.

…Yeah, right. If anything, they pooped more than usual. But that’s okay! Plenty of people pitched in to make it a special week for everyone.

The American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) has a Georgia chapter of which I am a member. This year, I joined our chapter’s NZKW Committee, so I got to help plan festivities for my coworkers. The surest way to a zookeeper’s heart is with free food, so we organized a “freezer pop” handout and a breakfast to start off the week. The lead keepers then threw us a lunch where there was even more free food. Also, because keepers from different departments don’t often get to socialize with each other at work, we organized a couple of after work-events such as a trivia night and a movie night at the drive-in.

The committee members weren’t the only ones planning something special for keepers. The Horticulture Team designed buttons for all of us with true artistic flare. Sodexo, the Zoo’s food service provider, generously provided us with a luncheon during which some truly embarrassing games were played. The Zoo’s Morale Corral gifted each animal area with goody baskets filled with treats that were consumed in record time. Not to be outdone, our wonderful Docents threw us not one, but two ice cream socials. There was so much going on that some animal department managers waited until this week to show us their appreciation!

Every keeper gained approximately 20 pounds, but it was a wonderful week filled with reminders that zookeepers really have the best jobs in the world.
Taylor Rubin
Keeper I, Birds

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl