CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, NJ - The American Association of Zoo Keepers awards committee selected the Cape May County Zoo Keepers to receive the annual Barbara Manspeaker AAZK Chapter of the Year Award. The Cape May County chapter of Zoo Keepers was awarded via a virtual awards ceremony on September 1. The award is usually presented at the AAZK Conference but due to COVID-19, the conference was postponed until 2021.
The Cape May County Chapter was awarded the 'Chapter of the Year' award for their contributions to conservation, their chapter members, their local community, and their support of AAZK's mission and goals. The Cape May County Chapter has raised money and has donated to many local and national conservation efforts. Chapter members have participated in many activities and events from educational programs to clean-ups and other community conservation efforts.
Freeholder E. Marie Hayes, who oversees the Parks and Zoo said, "The Cape May County members of the AAZK chapter have proven to be dedicated employees who have the care of the animals and conservation efforts to protect them at their top of mind. They deserve this award and I can't be more proud of them than I am today."
The American Association of Zoo Keepers is a non-profit volunteer organization made up of professional zookeepers and other interested persons dedicated to professional animal care and conservation. The Cape May County Chapter is made up of zookeepers from the Cape May County Zoo. The Chapter hosts events to raise money to provide enrichment items for our animals and to give donations to other organizations that are important to animal conservation efforts.
"It is important to note that members volunteer to attend the educational sessions at the annual conference and return with new ideas and best practices that have been implemented at our Zoo and serve to make it one of the best in the State and region. It is because of their dedication and passion that the Cape May County Zoo is recognized nationally and internationally. Congratulations to the Chapter members, the Veterinarians, and those who have worked with them to earn this prestigious award," Hayes added.
AAZK's mission is to foster a professional attitude in animal keepers and aquarists by encouraging them to become active members of professional teams in today's zoos and aquariums. AAZK supports the promotion and implementation of zookeeper education and strives to make the general public aware of our concern for all deserving conservation projects and the need for the preservation of our natural resources and the species that depend on those resources.