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Fw: [zoo-biology] Rotating keeper staff

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  • jcschaul@aim.com
    I apologize for the cross posting, but I find this to be an interesting topic-jordan Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry ... From: Ross Snipp
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 23 4:20 AM
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      I apologize for the cross posting, but I find this to be an interesting topic-jordan

      Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

      From: "Ross Snipp"
      Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 10:58:44 -0000
      To: <zoo-biology@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: RE: [zoo-biology] Rotating keeper staff

      Hi All,

      I agree with the replies that rotating keepers through different areas is
      definitely an aid to training (staff that is). I also feel that is develops
      a more cohesive team of keepers, with a working knowledge of all of the
      areas of a zoo. After x period of time I believe that staff should be
      allowed to specialize within a specific area, in order to make full use of
      their skills/enthusiasm.

      Jill, very interested in your reply re: the cats at Hogle Zoo. Neophobia of
      the animals is often quoted here as the reason for staff remaining in one
      area. The animals become used to working for a small group of people, and
      change can have a negative affect on them (the animals that is). As the
      frequent change of enrichment is recognized as having a positive benefit to
      animals, I wonder whether frequent change of keepers working with the animal
      could also have a positive benefit?



      Ross Snipp MSc
      Zoo Manager
      Flamingo Land
      Kirby Misperton
      North Yorkshire
      YO17 6UX
      Tel: 01653 668287 ext267
      Fax: 01653 668280

      From: zoo-biology@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:zoo-biology@ yahoogroups. com] On
      Behalf Of jcschaul@aim. com
      Sent: 20 February 2009 22:12
      To: zoo-biology@ yahoogroups. com
      Subject: Re: [zoo-biology] Rotating keeper staff

      I should add that the zoo that I worked at (with general relief) has since
      eliminated the 6 or so general relief keeper positions and I believe
      retained general area and string relief keepers. I would guess that it
      becomes very dangerous. to demand relief keepers to stay abreast of all the
      changes in routines that occur at such a large zoo. I know that keepers at
      other institutions
      feel there is a limit to the number of routines that one should feel
      comfortable with. In regard, to training it is definitely an asset if relief
      keepers can assist or train themselves, but there is also concern that if a
      keeper services an area as needed (which could be a long interval between
      service) that the individual could impede training progress. In my opinion,
      some people are better at adapting to a very dynamic training program than
      others for several reasons, and they are good candidates in regard to
      floating around and filling in as trainers on an as needed basis.
      Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

      -----Original Message-----
      From: jcschaul@aim. com <mailto:jcschaul% 40aim.com>

      Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2009 20:28:18
      To: <zoo-biology@ yahoogroups. com <mailto:zoo- biology%40yahoog roups.com> >
      Subject: Re: [zoo-biology] Rotating keeper staff

      I worked as a general relief keeper at a regional zoo before taking on a
      designated area position.. In my opinion, it provides a great opportunity to
      learn what taxa one might prefer to work with, but much of the job requires
      that you almost finesse the position responsibilities. This was due to the
      nature of the job ( having to remember the basics of all the routines as
      opposed to the details that the regular string or area relief keepers tend
      to). With that said, a keeper with such versatility may be better prepared
      as a husbandry professional in an era when mixed species exhibit management
      has become the norm. From a management perspective, it is nice to have staff
      members trained to work a variety of positions in the event that they are
      needed to fill in, permit area staff to work on husbandry training
      initiatives, tend to medical procedures, exhibit maintenance, etc.. There
      are perhaps some drawbacks with regard to the potential for
      miscommunication, updating keeper boards, and preventive medicine (a keeper
      who is highly mobile becomes a human fomite, with regard to communicable
      disease transmission) . Hence, they should, for instance, have several pairs
      of boots at designated stations, if possible. I find this to be an
      interesting topic and would love to here the opinions of others. And
      remember- if you are on facebook, please join the AAZK group. I'm sending
      this message from my phone and don't have the link, but you can search
      American Association. of Zoo Keepers. Shane Good and I welcome members of
      the global zoo community to join the group as well as the ICZ facebook
      group. Thanks.
      Best Regards,
      Jordan Schaul, PhD
      Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

      -----Original Message-----
      From: "foxwolfwild" <foxwolfwild@ yahoo.co. uk
      <mailto:foxwolfwild %40yahoo. co.uk> >

      Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2009 15:40:04
      To: <zoo-biology@ yahoogroups. com <mailto:zoo- biology%40yahoog roups.com> >
      Subject: [zoo-biology] Rotating keeper staff

      I know the general discussion at the moment is keeper exchanges which
      personally I think is a great idea but it does throw up another
      question which I am interested in anybodies views on.
      That is the policy of rotating keeping staff around a park's animal
      sections so the keepers gain experience in different areas of the
      Is it a good idea? Is it a benefit to the animals given that certain
      species appreciate a stable long term bond with its carer. How do other
      zoos manage it? How long do the keepers stay on each section? Does it
      hinder any long term ideas that a keeper may have for a particular
      animal e.g. improvements in enclosure, enrichment, if the keeper knows
      he/she is not going to be with that animal in six months time? I would
      appreciate any thoughts you may have.Thank you

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