Student Queries

With so many budding conservationists out there, unfortunately we don’t always get time to answer all queries individually.  So, we’ve put together some frequently asked questions and useful web links we hope might help.


Useful Web Links

General – Science and Biology/Geography

www.kids.nationalgeographic.com.au
(an excellent site for general information on animals for younger students)
www.enchantedlearning.com
www.envirolink.org

Zoos and zoo animals

Adelaide Zoo Animals
Monarto Zoo Animals
www.goodzoos.com
www.sanctuaryasia.com

Wildlife protection actions

www.kidsplanet.org
www.planetark.org

Threats and causes of endangerment 

www.traffic.org
www.ran.org

Zoo Keeping

Becoming a zoo keeper

Tips for filming great movies
Department for Education and Child Development, South Australian Government
www.decd.sa.gov.au

Threatened species research
www.iucnredlist.org

IUCN Love not Loss
Communicating a serious yet positive conservation message
www.iucn.org

FAQS

Check out the FAQS below for further details.

I have a query about a particular zoo animal. Where can I find more information?

Visit the animal pages at Adelaide or Monarto on our Adelaide and Monarto Zoo websites.

If you can’t find what you need here, you might try the Atlas of Living Australia at www.ala.org.au/ or the IUCN website at www.icun.org.

Unfortunately our keepers are very busy caring for our and won’t have enough time to respond to individual enquiries about our animals. Good luck researching!

 

What qualifications and experience are necessary to get a job as a Zoo Keeper?

Want to learn more about how to land your dream job as a zoo keeper?  Being such an amazing job it’s not always that easy, but visit our Become a Zoo Keeper page for some helpful tips.

Learn More

What is involved in being a Zoo Keeper? What does a typical day involve?

Keepers have a very physical and time consuming  job, but also the opportunity to get up close and form relationships with their animals which is a real privilege!

All our Keepers here at Zoos SA work from 8:00am til 5:00pm on a seven day roster, which generally means they have to work 2 of every 4 weekends (to make sure the animals are looked after every day) and get up to three or four days off at a time to make up for it.

A day in the life of a Keeper generally begins with feeding the animals. Keepers sometimes help prepare the food, but depending on the animal this may also be done by the assets team (for example, making bamboo cake for the Giant Pandas). Keepers often hide food in different places around the enclosure before the animals are let out from their night quarters, so they have to hunt for their food like they would in the wild. This is called behavioural enrichment and keeps the animals mentally stimulated.

Most of our animals go through a few hours of behaviour training with their Keepers every day. This involves things like training them to present their forearms for needles (so they know what to do when they have blood taken for their health checks), as well as more in-depth and ongoing training like how to behave and respond to certain actions from their Keepers. This builds trust between the Keepers and their animals.

Other tasks that keepers are required to carry out during each day include cleaning the enclosure and night quarters, record keeping (on things like the animal’s weight and feeding patterns to keep track of their health, as well as any unusual behaviours), and delivering talks and presentations to the public about their animals. Keepers also spend significant time on research and training for their animals.

 

What are the major causes of species becoming endangered?

There are many reasons why animals become endangered or face the risk of extinction. Some of the major factors are listed here very briefly. If you would like to do further research these should provide a good starting point!

  • Habitat clearance/destruction
  • Poaching/hunting
  • Natural predation and competition (being preyed on by other species or having to compete with them for limited food resources)
  • Introduction of exotic species which also compete for food
  • Disease (such as the Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease)
  • Other natural causes

Some of the major areas where habitat clearance is an issue are summarised here:

  • Rainforest ecosystems in South East Asia (home to Sumatran Orang-utans, Tigers and Malayan Sun Bears to name a few)
  • Rainforests in Africa, which are home to Western chimpanzees among other important species
  • Open rangelands and grasslands in Africa (home to rhinos, elephants, hyenas, birds and gazelle)
  • Mountains and forests in China, which are valuable Giant Panda habitat
  • Marine and rainforest ecosystems in the South Pacific, which is home to a vast array of aquatic and terrestrial species

You can learn more about our conservation work by visit the conservation section of our website.

Learn More

 

 

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About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to connect people with nature and save species from extinction.

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