Most large zoos have keepers that specialize and care for specific species every day. Basically this means one keeper might oversee the care for the zebras and antelope while another oversees the care for the alligators and snakes. However, we operate as a small zoo and do not have keepers that work with only two or three species. Instead, all of us share the duties of caring for all our animals. There are benefits to both methods, but I personally enjoy working with more diversity.
What we do have is different areas inside the animal department. These areas include veterinary, indoor animals, outdoor animals, projects and “float” (this person helps out wherever needed). All of the keepers know which area they will be in each day because there is a schedule. Sherry makes the schedule and it changes 4-6 times a year. These areas work the same as our animal care, in that all the keepers are trained in every area. Some keepers have more knowledge and experience in certain areas, such as keeper Katy in vet and keeper Kent with our outside animals. Having these different areas and schedules is really nice because we each get to do something different almost every day.