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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Providing diverse opportunities to rhino professionals.

The International Rhino Keeper Association (IRKA) has developed a program that will provide rhino keepers the opportunity to expand their knowledge and husbandry experience. This program has been designed to enable rhino keepers to work at other institutions to familiarize themselves with different management styles.

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GET INVOLVED

You Can Make a Difference

The International Rhino Keeper Association (IRKA) has developed a program that will provide rhino keepers the opportunity to expand their knowledge and husbandry experience. This program has been designed to enable rhino keepers to work at other institutions to familiarize themselves with different management styles. Due to the professional nature of this program, it is only available to Professional or Associate Rhino Keeper Association members.

        The IRKA has selected facilities with different management styles to maximize the keepers’ potential for enhancing their expertise. It is the hope of the IRKA that the institutions participating in this program will take this opportunity to share their trials, tribulations, triumphs and successes with their professional colleagues. At this time, the hosting institutions are: Busch Gardens Tampa, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens, The Wilds, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and Denver Zoo. The concept of the program is quite simple, but we feel it is an invaluable tool for expanding the skills of rhino keepers by providing them the opportunity to work alongside their colleagues and learn the nuances of that institution’s husbandry practices. 

Approval process:

        The keeper participating in this program must not only have their institution’s authorization, but agreement to pay their wages. The institution’s approval requires that employee is covered by their institution’s workmen’s compensation and will provide documentation of personal health insurance. This will provide assurance that the hosting institution will not be liable to cover medical costs. When application has been approved, there will be a fee of $10 to be contributed to the IRKA scholarship fund.

PROGRAM GUIDELINES

APPLICATION FOR FUNDING

KEEPER DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION

 

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOSTING INSTITUTIONS

Plan your rhino adventure!  Learn more about breeding dynamics, enrichment and training, reproductive strategies, general care and management and neonate care.  Contact Joe Hauser with any further questions or to help create your own Professional Development Program.  jhauser@buffalozoo.org

Oklahoma City Zoo
Oklahoma City Zoo

Keepers will have the opportunity to work alongside 1.2 GOH rhinos which includes a breeding pair. They will get to observe chute training for blood draws and ultrasounds, public interactions, and how we utilize our five habitats. Keepers will also have an opportunity to spend time with our 2.5 Asian elephants and see their training.

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The Wilds
The Wilds

Work with keepers managing breeding groups of Southern white rhinos and Greater One horned rhinos, either in pasture or in barns and yards depending on the season. Assist with daily cleaning and feeding, while observing opportunistic procedures with a variety of hoofstock.

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White Oak

Come see how White Oak Conservation manages large populations of Southern white rhinos and greater one horned rhinos, as well as Southern black rhinos. Learn about daily care, habitat management, blood draws, and veterinary procedures required to house rhinos in large acreage habitats. Keepers may have the opportunity to tour or shadow other areas depending on schedule. Visit www.whiteoakwildlife.org to see all the species housed at White Oak.

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Oklahoma City Zoo
Oklahoma City Zoo

Keepers will have the opportunity to work alongside 1.2 GOH rhinos which includes a breeding pair. They will get to observe chute training for blood draws and ultrasounds, public interactions, and how we utilize our five habitats. Keepers will also have an opportunity to spend time with our 2.5 Asian elephants and see their training.

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