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Zoologists and zookeepers are concerned with the conservation, study and care for animal species.
Zoologists can work in a wide variety of professional environments (and also, of course, in a wide range of physical environments!), from working in a laboratory to a wildlife reserve or even in the field. Zookeepers will focus more on caring for animals kept in captivity (in zoos, wildlife or safari parks), typically these will be open to the public and roles as zookeepers will involve a significant amount of public education.
Outside of academic research, zoologists can also work in a number of private and non-profit organisations, although non-profit organisations (including wildlife associations/charities, museums and government departments) predominate. Examples of private sector organisations which might have zoologists include: animal nutrition companies or medical research/pharmaceutical businesses.
Both roles will involve specialisation in specific animal groups – as a zoologist you might specialise in mammals (Mammologist), or reptiles/amphibians (Herpetologist), or birds (Ornithologist). Zookeepers might instead focus on particular classes of animals (e.g. Great Apes) within these, as dictated by these classes’ care requirements.
If working as a zoologist in the field you will need to be comfortable working in potentially dangerous environments, quite often with basic facilities. Depending on your area of specialisation, you might be able to spend significant time abroad, which can be both rewarding and challenging. Both zoologists and zookeepers need to be comfortable handling and being around potentially hazardous animals and will therefore need to be diligent and highly safety-conscious.