Of the many professionals working at the Zoo, not everyone works with the animals.
Some work with the public or take care of the plants, plus the administration and design staff. Only with everyone working together does the Zoo become unique.
You don’t have a lot to think about if you are a zoo director.
You just have to take care of the animals and their management, the staff and their professional skills, the visitors and their needs, the facilities and regulations. There is the unexpected but also prompt resolutions.
In the morning you think you have got everything organised and then you end up realising it’s not as you had planned. However, this is also what makes our job unique; in fact creating a comfort zone in all areas and sectors renders it stimulating and challenging.
The wellbeing of the animals is everyone’s task, but I’m the one with the difficult task of ensuring that the staff work under the best conditions difficult task. I’m alone in this!
My role is to facilitate and coordinate the work of the whole team, to encourage them, to listen to their suggestions and to continuously motivate each of them.
I have to be firm, but kind, welcoming but efficient, and serious, but not too serious.
During the day, I have to harmonise the notes of the Director with those of the orchestra of keepers, gardeners, educators and maintenance workers…just listen to that music!
Head of Education and Communication
When the laughter, curiosity and games leave with the school buses that take the young visitors back to their classrooms, everything else remains.We are there to show our followers at home the life of the zoo and its animals but also to those who have never been here, and those who come and support our efforts. There are stories that an exhibit cannot tell and events that narrate the creation of the exhibits, the park and the people who work here. It is up to me. I have to give a voice to those who don’t have one, be able to answer all visitors’ questions (and I mean all of them…) convincingly, be on social media and coordinate all educators’ activities.
I plan these activities with them and maintain relations with the teachers. I never get bored!
I am responsible for research and conservation. Ensuring our animal guests are happy is my main task. ‘Being well’ does not only mean being healthy! Games and environmental enrichment are my daily bread because wellbeing is also about fun, enjoyment and light-heartedness.
In order to take care of bears, penguins, meerkats and many other animals, I have to get to know them one by one. This is why I often arm myself with a camera, easel, pen and notepad and observe their behaviour for hours, discovering their tastes and personalities.
I also follow all aspects of their movements, censuses, births, data sharing with zoos around the world and conservation in the wild.
We look after the welfare of the park’s guests: from the tiny meerkat to the enormous elephant, from the elegant tiger to the vain parrot. Each animal has its own home (enclosure) designed for its needs and kept clean every day. You cannot imagine how careful we have to be when preparing and feeding each species: lions only eat meat, penguins only fish, bears a bit of everything and then there are the herbivores and the frugivores… Through training we try to create a special relationship with the animals; mutual trust built step by step, without haste. Weighing a penguin or ultrasounding a panda becomes very easy and the animals participate very willingly!
…Veterinarian, the role that first comes to mind when one thinks of working in a zoo. I love my job for its variability, complexity and richness. In short, I don’t get bored. Every day I check on all our animals from the smallest to the largest, from the fiercest to the most docile, from the most elusive to the most affectionate trying to ensure them good health, which is our most important goal. However, sometimes, caring for them is not so easy and that is why I have had to learn to get to know them one by one, taking into account their different personalities and habits and their needs so that I can understand what is wrong without having to disturb them too much.
We spend our days among animals, plants and children. We devote a large part of our time to the latter thanks to the Educational Laboratory, which welcomes around 10,000 pupils each year and is now a benchmark for nature conservation education.
We accompany groups of family and friends on the various experiences: our job is to create emotions for you to experience during the day’s activities or on night walks. To be a good educator you must always be able to patiently answer the visitors’ storm of questions!
We welcome visitors, but also their desire to have fun, their energy, their enthusiasm and their curiosity, and this is what stimulates us too. This is why we always have a big smile on our face!
“Yes, the park is stroller-friendly…yes, there are refreshments and picnic spots”…people’s needs are not always the same; we have to be able to respond to them all.
Greetings are our strong point. In addition to welcoming you, we make sure we are there to say goodbye: By carefully selecting a souvenir of a day full of emotions, we accompany the public home!
Gardeners and Maintenance Workers
Gardeners and Maintenance Workers
Have you ever counted the gates and entrances to the park? It is up to us to make sure that they close properly, that they do not squeak and that they can be used safely. The job of the maintenance worker is one of the most versatile because they have to take care of many things… some of them bulky enough to require a crane to move them, others tiny enough to require tweezers and goggles…
We team up with the gardeners; removing leaves in the autumn, worrying about the water supply in the summer, keeping a watchful eye on pruning and taking care of fertilisation. All of this is painstaking and continuous work. When a new exhibit is built some of us plant poles while others plant trees!