A Photographic Study of Behavior of Zookeepers, Working with
and Written By David Alderoty, © 2015
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is a study of zookeepers working
with sea lions in Central Park Zoo.
were taken over a three-day period, and
it involved the five zookeepers, shown below.
Many of the photographs were taken approximately 3 to 60 seconds
apart, and they are presented on this webpage in a time related sequence. The
behavior of the zookeepers during the feeding process appears somewhat strange,
which included close physical contact with the sea lions. However, some of
this behavior appears to be related to an assessment of the health of the
animals, involving examination of the mouth, fins, and the entire body of each
animal. The zookeepers, as well as the sea lions appeared to be performing for
the crowd. This included, various poses, and movements performed by the sea
lions, on command by the zookeepers. This performance is intentional, and it
is accompanied by an individual speaking through a loudspeaker, explaining
various aspects about the sea lions, such as training and feeding. The
zookeepers genuinely appeared to be enjoying themselves, and they appeared to
have genuine affection towards the sea lions. All of the above can be seen in
the following 246 photographs.
The two signs
above are on the outside of the enclosure housing the sea lions.
Each session with the sea lions, begins essentially the same way,
which is shown in the above photograph. A person announces that the feeding of
the sea lions is about to begin. Then the zookeepers enter with pouches filled
with fish, and the performance starts. The sea lines receive a reward of fish,
when they follow a command given by a zookeeper. The entire feeding session,
is accompanied by a narration from an individual with the microphone.