July 25, 2008
Zoo Keepers Thanked During Appreciation Week
By Gainesville Daily Register, Texas
Jul. 24--The Frank Buck Zoo in Gainesville is participating in a week of thank-yous to its staff.National Zoo Keeper Appreciation Week began Sunday -- the second year of the recognition week.
Regardless of their career motivation, a press release from the Frank Buck Zoo said, zoo keepers work long hours to meet animals' physical and psychological requirements.
"Frank Buck Zoo's keeper staff is highly educated, well-trained and extremely passionate about their work," said Zoo Director Susan Kleven.
Zoo-keeping is a small but highly competitive field, Kleven said in the press release, and the zoo receives resumes from applicants across the U.S. and beyond. Most applicants have received degrees in animal science, zoology, wildlife biology, zoo science or another related field, she said.
Frank Buck Zoo staffers have come from a variety of other zoological institutions, including Disney Animal Kingdom in Florida, Ellen Trout Zoo in Texas, Tauphus Park Zoo in Idaho, the San Antonio Zoo and others, she noted.
Many of the zoo keepers begin their career young by working during the summer in teen volunteer programs like Frank Buck Zoo's Jr. Zoo Crew (for those ages 14-18) or as college interns assisting with summer camps, special programs, zoo grounds maintenance and horticulture.
Keepers at the Frank Buck Zoo return the favor given to them in their youth by interacting with guests through daily public giraffe feeding encounters, weekend keeper talks and special programs to ensure guests enjoy their visits to the Frank Buck Zoo, the release said.
"Zoo keepers have dedicated their lives to animals in human care and to being advocates of their wild counterparts and their habitats in nature," the release said, "In appreciation, the Frank Buck Zoo Society honor the zoo staff throughout the week with treats brought to them by the board members."
Kleven added her thanks.
"It is my pleasure to recognize and honor the Frank Buck Zoo staff during National Zoo Keeper Appreciation Week," she said. "The zoo staff that have worked so hard to provide a fun, safe family-oriented environment and activities for the citizens of North Texas, Southern Oklahoma and beyond. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart for their outstanding dedication."
The Frank Buck Zoo may be contacted at 668-3539.
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