International Day of Zoo and Aquarium Educators

International Day of Zoo and Aquarium Educators

Have you ever gone to a zoo and asked staff a question about an animal? Saw someone interpreting at a habitat? How about going and watching a chat or show? Well, then you’ve probably met an educator! Educators are responsible for teaching the public all about wildlife, the natural world, and the importance of conservation. They inspire people of all ages to take action to help save our world and the creatures that live in it. On the second Thursday of November, we celebrate the International Day of Zoo and Aquarium Educators. This day promotes education within zoos and aquariums and is a great way to let educators know they are appreciated and heard!  

Every day our team strives to get the zoo’s message out there. We hope to encourage empathy and pass on our passion for our animals and their environments to our audiences. And, hopefully, we can spark some desire to aid in conservation efforts too!  For me, the best part of this job is getting to see the wonder and joy on guests’ faces when I bring out an animal and getting the opportunity to foster connections between that animal and the guests. For my coworkers, it’s the fact that everyday brings something new, it’s the excitement for training and watching as training plans come to fruition, it’s the success of the team and new ideas each person brings to the table, and although this job means something different to each of us, we all want to share our love for the animals we work with.    

So, in the spirit of International Day of Zoo and Aquarium Educators, I just want to say thank you to my team for everything they do and the hard work they put in every single day. I get to come into work and not only spend my day with some amazing animals, but also some amazing people too! 

There are many types of educators and ways to educate. You could be a tour guide taking guests around your facility, a school or group educator teaching students that come to visit, or maybe an outreach educator going off site to teach in a classroom or auditorium setting. You can even be a volunteer educator! Educators can take on many roles and often must change their style of teaching to better fit their audience. Talking to adults is very different than talking to kindergarteners! But it isn’t just speaking to guests. Educators are often involved in making signage and coming up with interactive displays to use around their facility as well. They play an important part in spreading the zoo or aquarium’s message to the guests. Our education team here at the Lehigh Valley Zoo is full of passionate individuals ready and willing to do just that, and I am thankful to be a part of it.  


Written by Emily Granville
Education Specialist

Lehigh Valley Zoo | Schnecksville, PA

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