Zookeeper for a day

By Crystal Moyer, Morning assignment desk, backup traffic reporter, cmoyer@wjxt.com
Published On: Jul 29 2014 11:54:10 AM EDT
Updated On: Jul 29 2014 01:12:21 PM EDT

VIDEO: Working with animals can be more demanding than thought so we took the opportunity to be a zookeeper for a day at the Jacksonville Zoo. Caring for, cleaning, and feeding all while making sure to provide the animals with the most natural environment.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

You've probably been to the zoo with your family and friends, but have you ever wondered what it's like to be a zookeeper?

You might not realize how much work goes into keeping the thousands of animals at the Jacksonville Zoo happy and healthy.

I got the chance to step into their shoes and be a zookeeper for a day.

The men and women that work at the zoo are very passionate about their jobs.

The zookeepers at the Jacksonville Zoo, I learned, have a lot of [not so] pleasant jobs, like shoveling animal poo. But they told me the positive experiences outweigh that. They said they love how it's a different experience everyday and that they get to help with conservation efforts and work to save many endangered animals.

You can also go behind the scenes with the 'Keeper for a (half) Day' program.

You can work with different animals like the Jaguars, birds and even the apes.

The minimum age for participation is 14 years, with some of the areas only being offered to those 18 years and older.

The cost is $125.00, which includes a special name badge that goes home with you, and a picture opportunity with one of the animals you work with.

Proceeds go to the Jacksonville Zoo and Garden’s chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) to help support their various conservation projects.

Click HERE for registration information.

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