Happy International Zoo Keeper Day!

cairns zoom and wildlife dome keeper stacey with lorikeets

To celebrate International Zoo Keeper Day, we thought we would give you a little insight into one of the most interesting animals on the entire globe: the wildlife keeper.

Lucky for us, Sir David Attenborough himself popped by and narrated this incredible segment about our wildlife keepers. Thanks Sir D… we owe you one!

Watch David Attenborough’s Planet Wildlife Dome below…

Please note: this video is in no way actually associated with Sir David Attenborough. Although we do invite him to say hello to our fluffy and feathery Dome residents and to maybe even brave our zipline over Goliath. (We double dare you David!)

What Is International Zoo Keeper Day?

International Zoo Keeper Day was declared on October 4 2015 by the International Congress of Zookeepers.

The day recognises the fantastic contributions of zoo keepers in caring for and contributing to the conservation of exotic animals.

The date October 4th was chosen for International Zoo Keeper Day as it is celebrated worldwide as the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi. St Francis is the patron saint of animals and environment.

What Is It Like To Be A Zoo Keeper?

Ever wondered what its actually like to be a wildlife keeper? We sit down with Cairns Zoom’s Assistant Manager and Wildlife Keeper Stacey and get all of the inside goss.


cairns zoom and wildlife dome keeper stacey with vovo the koala


Describe what its like to be a wildlife keeper in 3 words?

Tiring, smelly but amazingly rewarding (more than 3 I know!)


Which animal at Zoom do you feel is your spirit animal?

I think it would have to be Goliath our Estuarine Crocodile. Swimming and sun baking all day is my idea of a good time.


What’s the most disgusting thing you’ve ever had to do as a wildlife keeper?

I really don’t think you want to know the answer to that one!

I think the most disgusting thing is that I’ve done so many gross things in my years as a zookeeper that I don’t even realise how disgusting they are anymore. Or when you have a non zookeeper ask what is that smell and your response is “what smell?”

Who is the best behaved animal at Zoom?

That would have to be Wilson the Carpet Python. He’s the friendliest snake who loves nice warm cuddles and loves meeting visitors.


Who is the naughtiest? What’s the worst thing he/she has done?

Definitely Jojo the Sulfur Crested Cockatoo. Jojo likes to ‘help’ the keepers clean his enclosure by stealing and hiding their equipment!


What’s the best thing about being a wildlife keeper?

That your job, most days, doesn’t feel like a job. It’s the days when you see the difference that you make in your animals lives, when you see how your passion for your animals transfer to guests, and of course the animal cuddles!


If you weren’t a wildlife keeper, what would you be?

I can’t imagine being anything else! But when I was younger I also wanted to be an Archaeologist.

cairns zoom and wildlife dome keeper stacey with lorikeets

If you could meet any animal in the world, what would you choose?

To dive with Whale Sharks is my ultimate dream experience


What’s the cutest baby animal you’ve ever seen?

Tasmanian Devil Joeys are my absolute favourite baby animal but pretty much any baby animal, it’s hard to choose


What’s the most interesting fact you know about one of our Zoom residents?

– That Koala Joeys need Pap (mums poo) in order to eat eucalyptus leaves.

– Snakes don’t have ears or eyelids

– Estuarine Crocodiles have one of the strongest jaw pressures in the world exceeding 3,500psi (pounds per square inch)

– and that if I don’t give Jojo cuddles he screeches up a storm!