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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Education at the Zoo

“If your plan is for one year plant rice. If your plan is for ten years plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years educate children. ”

- Confucius 

Over the years of writing this blog, I've primarily focused on two things.  Firstly, on the lives of the keepers and aquarists who care for animals in zoos and aquariums.  Secondly, on the greater conservation goals of those organizations.  The first describes my daily day, the second of what my coworkers and I labor in the service of.  Easy enough.  You write about what you know.

It would be a mistake, however, to think that the zoo is all about the keepers and the kept.  Especially in larger zoos, there is a larger team at play.  There are administrators and veterinarians, horticulturalists and maintenance teams, marketers and customer service staff.  There is also the field that I originally started off in, and what got me my first zoo paycheck - Education.

Education is often described as the partner of the zoo's other primary goal, Conservation.  The two go hand in hand; all of our research programs and captive-breeding and reintroduction schemes aside, all of our efforts will be for naught if we don't instill knowledge and a desire for a better world for wildlife in our visitors.  This month, we'll explore the world of zoo education.

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