National Zoo Keeper Appreciation Week


In recognition of the dedication of zoo keepers and aquarists, the American
Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK – and Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden
will be celebrating National Zoo Keeper Week from July 15-21, along with zoos and
aquariums across the nation. The zoo keepers at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden work
365 days a year, caring for over 700 animals. Amos Morris, Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic
Garden’s Director stated, “Zoo Keeping attracts some of the most innovative, resourceful,
and passionate people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work around. The zoo keeper is
dedicated to their animals care no matter what the weather or conditions. There are many
other trades who support the care of our animals; however, I would like to specifically
recognize the hard work and dedication of the 18 talented zoo keepers on staff. Without
them, it would be incredibly difficult to exhibit the animals.”

According to Mesker Park Zoo’s Assistant Animal Curator, Denny Vogt, “The career of a zoo
keeper has evolved dramatically from what it was 30 years ago. Zoo keepers are not only
responsible for feeding and cleaning up after the zoo animals, but they are also responsible
for training and enriching the animals, participating in medical exams, designing exhibits,
and educating zoo visitors. A zoo keeper’s day at work is rough and tiring, with plenty of
bruises, cuts, and dirty uniforms. We all become zoo keepers because we are passionate

about the welfare of the zoo animals and want to make a difference in their lives and the
lives of the visitors who come to visit them.

On Saturday July 21, Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden’s zoo keepers will be hosting a
meet and greet session from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Zoo’s Discovery Center Classroom. The
public is invited to attend and find out more about this interesting and rewarding career.

Evansville’s Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden is open 365 days a year from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
(must leave grounds by 5 p.m.). Adult admission is $8.50 and children ages 3-12 are $7.50.
Children under 3 are free. In recognition of their support, Vanderburgh County residents
receive $1 discount. Group discounts and yearly memberships are also available. Please
visit for more information.