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Dedicated Keepers Vital to Salina Zoo

KSAL Staff - July 18, 2016 7:15 am

The Keepers from Rolling Hills Zoo. (Courtesy Photo)

The Keepers from Rolling Hills Zoo. (Courtesy Photo)

Rolling Hills Zoo is recognizing their dedicated animal care professionals during National Zoo Keepers’ Week this week, July 17 – 23, 2016.

“At Rolling Hills Zoo we are celebrating our keepers by recognizing their hard work and dedication,” shared Robert Jenkins, Director of Rolling Hills Zoo.  “If you are visiting Rolling Hills Zoo this week, be sure to tell them hello and Thank You!”

Three hundred and sixty five days a year, seven days a week, in all kinds of weather (from severe thunderstorms, to blizzards, to heat waves, and everything in between), zoo keepers have to be ready for anything. These animal care professionals are involved in captive animals’ lives and welfare from birth to death and every moment in between.  They often create life long bonds with these animals – almost like family.  A keeper’s day involves an array of tasks which can include cleaning, food preparation and feedings, medical treatment, training, enrichment, landscaping, exhibit design, animal introductions, public outreach and education, and so much more.

As the need to protect and preserve wildlife and their vanishing habitats continues to increase, the animal care professional’s role as educators and conservation ambassadors has become essential. Our zoo professionals care for over 120 species, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates.

“Rolling Hills Zoo staffs fourteen zoo keepers, along with the head keeper and curator, and we could not be prouder of our tremendously talented team of keepers who continue to impress with their expertise and compassion,” commented Jenkins.  “They have dedicated their lives to caring for animals, and everything they do and learn here helps contribute to saving animals in the wild.”

But, in the end, being a zookeeper is more than just a job. It’s a career, it’s a passion, it’s a calling.  And it is one of the many ways that makes Rolling Hills Zoo such a special place to be.

“I feel like we make a difference in the lives of the animals that we take care of. We form a relationship with every single animal that we take care of and that is very rewarding,” shared a RHZ keeper.

City of Salina