Becoming a zookeeper in Dubai

Time Out speaks to Jennifer Beasley, Emirates Zoo's head of animal welfare, about becoming a zookeeper in Dubai

What’s the best thing about being a zookeeper?
The diversity, and the fact that the UAE is evolving in its animal welfare regulations. It means the animals’ lives are improving daily. It’s great to be part of that progress.

What is a typical day like at the zoo?
I never know what is going to happen or which animal I may have to be involved with. One minute I could be educating a guest as to why you shouldn’t pick a rabbit up by the ears, then the next minute I’m called off for a veterinary procedure with a tiger.

What is it like the in surgery?
It’s a very interesting way to get close to animals that we wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to. It can be nerve-wracking with some species, too, if they decide to wake up mid procedure…

What’s the trick to your job?
Working daily with species as huge as giraffes or as dangerous as monkeys, you have to build up a relationship of co-operation, just as you do with people. It’s really rewarding to achieve that with potentially deadly animals.

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