Celebrated on July 24th
Zookeepers are individuals employed by zoos and animal parks to watch over and take care of animals. They not only tend to the needs of the animals, but also educate the public about animals at the zoo and participate in animal research. This type of work is a dream job for many. The number of people turning in applications to become zookeepers each year, however, far exceeds the number of jobs available.
Penguins are absolutely adorable, and can be one of the most popular zoo exhibits, especially after animated films like Happy Feet showcase these cute little cold weather critters. They have a reputation for being devoted and loving, and the stories of them mating for life can easily capture a zoo visitor’s heart… but if those visitors got behind the plexiglass for a whiff of these adorable little tuxedo birds, they might feel differently. According to many keepers, Penguins take the prize for the stinkiest animal in the zoo, thanks to their especially pungent guano.
Giant pandas are one of the biggest draws for zoos that manage to snag a pair. But the big mammals also come with an extremely high price tag. Famously finicky, they dine almost exclusively on bamboo. Since these plants don’t offer much in the way of nutritional value, pandas need to consume about 26 to 84 pounds of them every day. Maintaining a fresh supply is a costly endeavor, especially for zoos located in cooler areas where bamboo doesn’t grow as well.