LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. — This week, National Zookeepers Week, is a time to recognize those who care for and protect vulnerable animals and sometimes an entire species!
Lisa Hamm is one of dozens of heroes among the 6-thousand animals at Wildlife World in Litchfield Park.
"I love it here I wouldn't change it for the world," she said. "I started in the gift shop then volunteered for several months and now I'm head keeper."
Keepers and volunteers arrive before dawn to prepare for each of the species' needs. Kristy Morcom, Director of Media Relations, said the animals require a lot of tender love and care, and they certainly get it from devoted keepers.
"They arrive at 2:30 a.m. and they're in there chopping over 300 pounds of fresh produce, over 500 pounds of dry feed and the carnivores out here can get over 150 pounds of meat," Morcom said.
The care and concern for both keepers and animals continues from back in 1967, when the American Association of Zookeepers was founded.
"Our animal team is so great at what they do, it really is a labor of love in small city to make wildlife world run," Morcom said.
She added that there's plenty of opportunity for volunteers thinking about a career with an array of animals.
"We have our medical team, animal caregivers, keeps, aquarists, chemists, and a hand-raising team," she said.
All week long, people can check out beyond the scenes actions of what it takes!
"It's a lot of hard work we must clean their yards, make sure they're fed, and make sure everybody is doing good," Hamm said.
Find more information on the Zoo's site here.
Latest Arizona News
Catch up on the latest news and stories on our 12 News YouTube playlist here.