Zoo Keeper

Zookeeping is as old as civilization itself. Famous zookeepers of the ancient world included Solomon, Ashurbanipal and Nebuchadnezzar. Modern zookeeping originated in 1752 with the establishment of the Imperial Menagerie in Vienna, and today there are thousands of zoos worldwide. Zoos reflect man's desire for closer contact with the world of wild animals, a world which grows steadily smaller as more species are threatened with extinction.--unicover.com

A zoo keeper is one of the persons employed to look after the animals in a zoo or aquarium. The term may also specifically denote the person in charge of the zoo. An alternate way of spelling 'zoo keeper' is to contract it into one word (zookeeper).

Zoo Keeper is a video arcade game from 1982, manufactured by Taito. It incorporated mono sound and was played on a 19 inch screen. A primitive platform game, it was controlled with a 4-way joystick and a single button that made Zeke the zookeeper jump. The object was to rescue Zeke the zookeeper's girlfriend Zelda, while preventing all the animals from escaping the zoo.

Zookeepers commonly look after a wide variety of animals, including mammals such as elephants and tigers, birds, amphibians, reptiles and so forth. Some, however, are more specialised, and may have responsibility for just one particular area, such as the insect house. The job typically involves basic work such as looking after the enclosures the animals live in and feeding the animals, but they have to be knowledgeable and attuned to the behaviour of animals – for one thing, there is a risk of being attacked by them. They may also have a part to play in conservation projects and research, and their role might involve an input into the design of the zoo.

Zeke the zookeeper has four levels to play. The first level has camels, elephants, lions, mooses, rhinos and snakes in it, which our hero must stop from escaping. The second level sees Zelda tied to a palm tree while a mischievous monkey rains coconuts down on Zeke. Zeke must jump upwards from platform to platform, garnering power-ups in the form of food and drink, and avoiding the projectiles until he reaches his girlfriend, who says “My Hero!” as he rescues her. Level three sees a repeat of the first level, and on the fourth level, Zeke has to jump over herds of animals coming toward him so he can safely take an escalator up to the next platform, eventually to rescue Zelda again. If you manage to complete all four levels, the game begins again, but on a higher setting of difficulty.

Real life zookeepers usually need a zoology related qualification, but aside from looking after animals, they have the additional responsibility of dealing with the public. This means answering queries, taking complaints and handling unruly visitors, all in a polite and professional manner. Despite the fact that a lot of dedication is needed, as well as a high level of education, the zoo keeping field is not well paid, doesn’t have great opportunities for advancement, and is hard to break into. Nonetheless, it can be a highly rewarding career.

American Association of Zoo Keepers, Inc.: http://www.aazk.org/

Information about the game: http://www.klov.com/Z/Zoo_Keeper.html

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