For immediate release
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens Honors A Profession of Dedication During National Zoo Keeper Week
July 12, 2012 - Jacksonville, Fl -
In recognition of the dedication of zookeepers and aquarists nationwide, the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) (http://www.aazk.org) and zoos and aquariums across the nation will celebrate National Zoo Keeper Week July 15th through the 21st. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is proud to be a part of this tribute to those individuals who are dedicated to the care and preservation of its animals. The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens will be having appreciation activities during the week including a luncheon for all Zookeepers. Several local restaurants have also donated items for our dedicated zookeepers, including Junior’s Seafood Restaurant and Grill, Latitude 30, and Gumbo Ya Ya’s. Jacksonville Zoo also invites the public to send thank you notes to the zookeepers which will be hung in the zookeepers’ break room throughout the week. On Tuesday, July 17th and Thursday, July 19th, there will be a station set up at the Zoo’s Main Camp from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. where guests can create thank you cards for the keepers. All guests that create a card on-site will be entered into a drawing to win lunch with a zookeeper that day. The drawing will be held at 12:30 p.m. and guests must be present to win. Winner receives a free lunch to enjoy with a zookeeper. Additionally, guests of the Zoo on the 17th and 19th are encouraged to stop by the card-making table to sign up for free Behind-the-Scenes tours so that they can get a sneak peak at the daily activities of a zookeeper. Tour participants must be at least 5 years of age and all participants must wear closed-toed shoes. Strollers cannot be accommodated on the tours. Wheelchairs can be accommodated on a limited basis. All tours are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
“The American Association of Zookeepers 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 Zookeepers, aquarists, and the animal care professionals in our nation’s zoological parks and aquariums. Zookeepers serve as animal care experts, frontline educators, and conservationists. We are proud to have zookeepers 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.
The American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) is 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.
About the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
For nearly a century, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has been dedicated to inspiring the discovery and appreciation of wildlife through innovative experiences in a caring environment. Started in 1914 with an animal collection that consisted of one red deer fawn, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens now has more than 2,000 rare and exotic animals. It has won national acclaim for its South American Range of the Jaguar exhibit and regional, state and local awards for its botanical gardens. The Jacksonville Zoo is a nonprofit organization and is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It is open year-round, seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Christmas day, and is located on Jacksonville’s north side at 370 Zoo Parkway, one-half mile east from I-95. For more information on the Zoo, log on to http://www.jacksonvillezoo.org.