A word from our keepers – Part 2: Deer and camels
For many animal keepers their job isn’t just their profession, it’s their passion. Since 2015, the 4th of October has been “International Zookeeper Day” – a day that focuses on the remarkable efforts and achievements of animal keepers in zoos around the world. This year, Tierpark Berlin is dedicating an entire week to its staff – by celebrating “Zookeeper Week”. Each day, different members of staff report on their daily work and the challenges they face. Today we hear from Anett Krüger, who has worked at Tierpark Berlin for over 30 years.
Interaction and behavioural analysis
Annett Krüger is mainly responsible for the Tierpark’s deer and camels. Together with her colleagues, she also looks after the wild cattle, maras and peccaries. “The area we’re responsible for is quite large,” she says. This is one of the things she believes makes the Tierpark so special: “The animals have lots of space here – the space they need.”
Anett developed her interest in animals as a child. “I remember I desperately wanted a dog when I was little.” Before she trained as an animal keeper, she completed several internships. “I’d strongly recommend that to anyone who is interested in this profession,” she says. “Internships give you an idea of what’s really involved in the work of an animal keeper.” One part of the job, she explains, is looking after and mucking out the animals, while the other is interacting with them and studying their behaviour.
A love for animals is a must
Anett has been working at Tierpark Berlin for more than 30 years now. “I’m still very, very happy in my job,” she says. “I just love working with animals and in the outdoors. Of course, as far as the weather is concerned, you have to be hardy – in both winter and summer. As an animal keeper you should love animals, but not be oversensitive. Like us humans, animals have to learn.”