Generic filters
Exact matches only
9:00 am - 6:00 pm

It Takes a Team

“You work where!?” It’s a common response to telling someone you work at a zoo. It’s often followed by another question – “So you take care of the animals?” Well, that depends on what you consider to be “taking care of the animals.” Surely, it’s preparing their food and maintaining their habitats. But what about providing engaging opportunities that elicit natural behaviors. Or observing their behavior? Or facilitating a feeling of safety and security? All these factors are integral to caring for the safety, health, and well-being of the animals. And none of these responsibilities fall solely on one individual or even a single team. 

The Zoo is like an ecosystem. No one team works in isolation, but each has their own niche, and our collaborative efforts sustain the organization and help support the mission. For example, the “animal care team” is actually a collection of teams that work in tandem to support animal health, safety, and well-being. The (capital letter) Animal Care Team works directly with the animal populations to provide daily care. But they couldn’t do this without the support of the Animal Nutrition Team, which sources and provides dietary items, and the Veterinary Team, which advances animal health through preventive, responsive, and individualized care. Other teams support animal health and well-being, too, if in less direct ways. 

From this perspective, you can see why the whole Zoo team is excited for the Rollins Animal Health Center to open later this year. When the Veterinary Team is in a centralized location with more tools at their disposal, they can be even more effective and efficient than they already are. In turn, collaborations with other teams (both internal and external) can be more fruitful. Not only does this collaborative ethos facilitate daily operations, but they also drive our mission forward. Only by working together can we save wildlife and their habitats. Effective conservation, impactful research, and engaging educational experiences are only possible through the collaboration of people with diverse knowledge and experiences. It really does take a team. 

Sarah Hamilton
Interpretive Engagement Specialist

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl