What is a Zoo Curator?

Do you love animals? Do you also love to manage things? You may want to consider a career as a zoo curator!

A zoo curator is responsible for overseeing all aspects of animal management at a zoo or aquarium. General duties may include decisions being made involving veterinary care, animal transportation, research projects, quarantine procedures, animal husbandry, and dietary issues.

A zoo curator is also involved with selecting and acquiring new animals for the zoo's collection, compiling information for zoo records, and making sure the facility meets all regulatory requirements. It is also a zoo curator's responsibility to ensure that all guests and staff are safe while on the premises.

What does a Zoo Curator do?

A zoo curator has a lot of responsibility when it comes to the upkeep of a zoo; they are essentially the managers of a zoo.

They oversee all zookeepers, staff, and veterinarians that provide for the animals. They are involved in the day-to-day decisions, in the acquiring of new animals, in renovating and developing the animal's habitats in collaboration with architects and construction workers, and in the development of research projects.

A little boy looking at the many fish at a public aquarium, one of the many things a zoo curator is responsible for.

While some zoo curators are very general, meaning they oversee all activities within a zoo, others specialize in one species of animal, such as reptiles. They may also specialize in conservation, research, making exhibits, or developing educational programs.

A great deal of a zoo curator's work is administrative. Some examples of administrative work are:

  • Hiring and training of employees
  • Ensuring the facility meets all federal and regional regulatory requirements
  • Keeping permits up to date
  • Managing keeper schedules
  • Keeping daily reports
  • Food ordering and inventory
  • Keeping records of all the animals in the zoo

Are you suited to be a zoo curator?

Zoo curators have distinct personalities. They tend to be investigative individuals, which means they’re intellectual, introspective, and inquisitive. They are curious, methodical, rational, analytical, and logical. Some of them are also artistic, meaning they’re creative, intuitive, sensitive, articulate, and expressive.

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What is the workplace of a Zoo Curator like?

A zoo curator typically works near larger cities that have zoos, like San Francisco, San Diego, New York, or Philadelphia, all of which have large zoos. This career involves a lot of work with people. Zoo curators consult with staff, with the board of directors, veterinarians, other zoo personnel, and members of the public.

Zoo curators often travel to areas where they can learn more about the living conditions that animals have in the wild. They then use that knowledge to build zoo habitats that are as close to an animal’s natural habitat as possible.

Zoo Curators are also known as:
Curator Of Zoo Exhibits Zoo Exhibit Curator