International Zookeeper DayThe International Congress of Zookeepers hereby declares October 4, 2015, to be the inaugural ´International Zookeeper Day´, or IZD.
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 man-made.
This special day will be observed annually on October 4, in recognition of the valuable contribution zookeepers make to the care and conservation of exotic animals.
Stewardship is the last hope for many endangered species. 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.
This celebration shall include all who make it their life´s work to care for animals, whether they are involved with zoos, sanctuaries, aquariums, rescue centers, parks or reserves. All who work to improve and save the lives of animals shall be commemorated on this day.
Each October 4, 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.
The International Congress of Zookeepers (ICZ)From its inception, the ICZ has had one goal : to improve the professionalism of zookeepers worldwide, which in turn will improve animal welfare in zoos throughout the world.
The vision of the ICZA global network of zookeepers with the highest standards of professional animal care contributing to a diverse and sustainable natural world where neither wild animals nor their habitats are in danger.
The mission of the ICZThe ICZ will build a worldwide network among zookeepers and other professionals in the field of wildlife care and conservation. This exchange of experience and knowledge will improve the professionalism of zookeepers for the benefit of the animals under their care and promote awareness and actions that will contribute to the preservation of wildlife everywhere.
Why October 4?This date is celebrated worldwide as the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi.
He is known as the patron saint of animals and the environment, and, since 1979, the Patron Saint of Ecology. He preached that it is the duty of men to protect and enjoy nature. Many of the stories that surround the life of St. Francis say that he had a great love for animals and the environment.
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