VICTORIA, Texas — The third week in July is always National Zoo Keeper Week. This celebration began in 2007 and, according to the American Association of Zoo Keeper's website, "focuses on the need to protect and preserve our wildlife and vanishing habitats via conservation messages created by their institutions. The animal keepers' role as educators and wildlife ambassadors has become essential".
Lucy Flipse, a Zoo Keeper at the Texas Zoo in Victoria, explains that "Zoo Keepers do just about anything and everything. We, obviously we clean the exhibits, we take care of our animals, we make their food, we give them their food, we even do forms of enrichment for them which is just a fancy way of saying we give them toys to do things like they would do in the wild".
Zoo Keepers also play a big part in conservation of the various species they work with. Flipse says the Texas Zoo is trying to conserve species by "trying to get people to have a good connection with our animals because if you don't know about this animal, you're not going to care about it. But if you know that one time you went to go see that animal and you had such a great experience, you're gonna be a little sad to see it go".
There are many species the Texas Zoo has that are endangered or protected, such as Ocelots, Texas Tortoises, and even Jaguars.
You can learn more about their conservation efforts by visiting their website or by visiting the Texas Zoo and talking to a Zoo Keeper.
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