International Zookeeper Day: October 4, 2019
The International Congress of Zookeepers asks you to join in the 4th Annual Celebration of International Zookeeper day this October 4th!
October 4th was proposed by Barcelona Zoo and AICAS (Iberian Association of Zookeepers) in honor of St. Francis of Assisi who advocated that it was the duty of men to protect and enjoy nature. The Barcelona Zoo has celebrated the Day of St. Francis since 1957.
This celebratory day includes all who make it their life’s work to care for animals, whether they are involved with zoos, sanctuaries, rescue centers, parks or reserves. All who work to improve and save the lives of animals shall be commemorated on this day.
This declaration comes at a time when many animal species are in great peril across the globe. Many species are facing extinction, and their ecosystems and habitats are under tremendous pressure from diverse forces, both natural and human-made. Stewardship is the last hope for many endangered species and the professionals who devote their lives to saving species by way of conservation and breeding programs, education outreach, and research work tirelessly to save these animals.
Each October 4th, the ICZ, via International Zookeeper Day, will engage in programs, activities, and ceremonies which encourage education and public awareness of the important role of keepers in wildlife conservation. Please take the opportunity on October 4th to stop and reflect on the huge contribution zookeepers make to the care and conservation of all species great and small.
Here are some ideas on how you can celebrate! Special Keeper Talks Special behind the scenes tours for guests (Show them what your day is like! Give a tour for a donation to raise funds for your favorite conservation organization). Hang out with colleagues (have lunch as a zoo department or outside of work). Hold Zookeeper Olympic Games Have a happy hour or social. Plant a tree on zoo grounds to commemorate the special day. Share, share, share on social media! #internationalzookeeperday How will you celebrate International Zookeeper Day?
Please check out the IZD 2019 Facebook page and share with us!
Association Collaborations: Harpij Enrichment Book
In 1998, Stichting de Harpij published the first edition of the ‘Harpij Verrijkingsboek’ (“Harpij Enrichment Book”); a reference book with ideas for the behavioral enrichment of animals in zoos. Since then, the book has been translated into five other languages: Russian, English, Spanish, Portuguese and Vietnamese.
This book is a great example of the benefits of zookeeping associations around the world working together as part of ICZ: ABWAK and ASZK sponsored the English translation and AICAS translated the book to both Spanish and Portuguese (and even shared it for free with the Spanish and Portuguese speaking delegates of the ICZ congress in 2018). Currently, AFSA is working on a French translation and BdZ on a German version of the book.