Three Moscow zoo employees took part in the International Congress of Zookeepers (ICZ), which was held in South America (Argentina, Buenos Aires) this year.
Seven representatives of the Keeper Associations established the Congress in 2000. The main and key goal was to improve the interaction with other zoos, knowledge and expertise exchange between the zookeepers. The first Congress was held in the Netherlands in 2003. Later the Congress developed goals, objectives and a development strategy.
The main directions of work in this Congress are:
• knowledge and expertise exchange between the zoo staff
• assistance in the development of environmental projects
• support for keepers involved in environmental projects
• assistance to zoos in need
• administrative management development for zoos
• intention to achieve the highest standards of zoo keeping today on a global scale
• facilitating the exchange of knowledge and skills
• support for regional zookeeper associations
• promoting professionalism through training and resources joint use.
«Behind the scenes: Hippo» tour
«Behind the scenes: Bats» tour
The Congresses are held once every three years in the participating countries of the organization. The Congress organizers try to provide the keepers with as many opportunities as possible to learn about the work in zoos in different parts of the world. By expanding their horizons and the volume of knowledge, the keepers can apply the experience and skills obtained in their native zoo.
Moscow zoo takes part in such an event for the third time. The Congress was held in Temaiken Park, Buenos Aires this year. The conference was held in 2 languages - English and Spanish.
Generally, at such congresses employees can not only make new international contacts, ask for advice, but also share their experience in any specimen keeping, or just tell about their work at the zoo.
This year, three reports were presented from Moscow zoo: “Enrichment of the environment for different types of nocturnal animals” by S. A. Khlyupin, “Northern fur seals at Moscow zoo: keeping, breeding, trainings” by V. M. Sochina, A. A. Tupikin, "The keeper’s role in the preparation of animals for exposure" by E. P. Kuzmicheva, M. V. Soboleva.
The theme of the Congress 2018 is “Thinking today, keeping tomorrow”.
A variety of topics, seminars, focused not only on the maintenance of rare species in zoos, but also reintroduction, reproduction of endangered species, environmental projects, visitors’ education and, of course, the keeper’s role in all of these aspects. There was a huge number of keepers from 22 countries, as well as a specially invited speaker – WAZA President for animal welfare Sabrina Brando. A large amount of workshops, seminars and lectures aimed at training and improving the quality of animals’ life in zoos and aquariums were held. There were also "behind the scenes" tours, where you could personally see how the animals are kept in the zoo, where the conference was held, ask questions to the experts, share their experience and ask for advice.
What does the zoo benefit from the participation in the International Congress of Zookeepers?
Firstly, it is an opportunity to send its keepers to other zoos to improve their professional skills.
Secondly, it is an opportunity to raise the standards of animal welfare through the introduction of innovative practices for their maintenance.
Thirdly, it is the international recognition of the zoo and the opportunity to stimulate its development and access to a qualitatively new level.
«Behind the scenes: Veterinarian hospital» tour
Another regular auction was organized. The employees of various zoos bring different souvenir products with them - items, which are sold in the process of the auction for impressive amounts to any interested employees from other zoos. As a rule, all profit go either to the Congress organization or to the environmental project that needs financial assistance.
What knowledge can the keepers exchange at such congresses?
· Enrichment ideas
· Assessment of animal behavior and well-being
· Training modes
· Food recommendations and feeding presentations
· Basic veterinary skills and tips
· The concept of enclosures and design ideas
All lectures, seminars, workshops and trainings were held in two languages.
6th International Zookeeper Congress