Zookeepers – the most important animal in the zoo?

Bacon, Heather orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-0011-8047, Vigors, Belinda, Shaw, Darren J., Waran, Natalie, Dwyer, Cathy M. and Bell, Catriona (2021) Zookeepers – the most important animal in the zoo? Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 26 (4). pp. 634-646. ISSN 1088-8705

[thumbnail of Version of Record]
PDF (Version of Record) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/10888705.2021.2012784


Education to improve knowledge of animal welfare is not a universal component of training for zoo staff, and little is reported about the perspectives of zoo staff on the need for such education. This paper reports results from structured telephone interviews of a diverse sample of eight Chinese and eight European zoo staff about aspects of zoological animal welfare, education and zoological practices. These qualitative data were thematically analysed and key themes generated. Similar themes emerged across regions: Zoo staff consider professional attributes including motivation and enthusiasm to be important alongside formal training, zoo staff value learning opportunities but don’t always feel supported, and contextual information including wild animal ecology was considered important content in zoo animal welfare education.

Repository Staff Only: item control page