Oakland Zoo Celebrates National Zoo Keeper Week

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In recognition of the dedication of zoo keepers, Oakland Zoo is joining the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) (http://www.aazk.org) and zoos across the nation to celebrate National Zoo Keeper Week, July 19-25.

Zoo Keepers Jessica and Amy

This week, we are proud to show zoo keepers how much we appreciate their hard work and dedication to not only their profession, but as a critical link in making Oakland Zoo animals and programs excellent, said Darren Minier, Zoological Mgr at Oakland Zoo.

In recognition of the dedication of zoo keepers, Oakland Zoo is joining the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) (http://www.aazk.org) and zoos across the nation to celebrate National Zoo Keeper Week, July 19-25.

More than thirty-eight zoo keepers are employed at Oakland Zoo to provide quality humane animal care to over 660 animals (from African elephants to lemurs to tiny bugs) that currently live at the Zoo. “Oakland Zoo could not be more proud of its animal keeper staff! At most zoos, keepers work behind-the-scenes to maintain environments where animals can live happy and healthy lives, but at Oakland Zoo, our keepers routinely go above and beyond the standard job description,” said Darren Minier, Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo. “Daily, they enrich the lives of our animals through building positive human-animal relationships and providing environments that help our animals to thrive. They advocate for better animal welfare legislation and are involved in conservation efforts at home and world-wide. This week, we are proud to show them how much we appreciate their hard work and dedication to not only their profession, but as a critical link in making Oakland Zoo animals and programs excellent.”

The appreciation week was created by AAZK, Inc. National Zoo Keeper Week is celebrated annually on the third Sunday in July. During this week, zoos nationwide honor animal care professionals and the constant efforts they make in animal care, conservation, and education. There are approximately 6,000 professionals across the United States that dedicate their time to animal care and conservation. This week also helps increase the public consciousness regarding the need to preserve precious habitats and the animals which inhabit them.

In honor of zookeepers, Oakland Zoo will feature “Keeper Cameos,” which highlight why zoo keepers have the "best job ever." These short cameos will allow the audience to see into the world of zoo keeping. Oakland Zoo will also include the AAZK hashtags #NZKW2015 and #ImAKeeper on social media posts throughout the week. Join in on the celebration of National Zookeeper Week by joining the conversation on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OakZoo.

“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.”

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. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide. 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.

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 http://www.aazk.org.
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Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, PR
Oakland Zoo
(510) 632-9525 Ext: 130
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