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What is an Animal Curator?

An animal curator is responsible for the collection of animals at a zoo or aquarium. A curator:

  • acquires animals,
  • maintains the existing collection, and
  • creates appropriate displays of the species in the collection.

A zoo or aquarium animal curator is in charge of all activity regarding an animal collection. Some zoos may have multiple curators for the various animal groups it has, such as:

  • mammals,
  • birds, and/or
  • herps (reptiles and amphibians).

In addition to being involved in conservation and research efforts , curators may have administrative duties that make them responsible for:

  • the success of various animal programs,
  • the experience of the visitors, and
  • the maintenance or health of a particular animal collection.

As a curator, you have the potential to oversee and manage a large staff and provide leadership and direction for the animal training and management programs. In addition to the responsibilities listed above, a curator may inspect exhibits to make sure that they meet government standards and ensure that the animals in his/her collection are being cared for in the most efficient and appropriate way possible.

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