What Does a Zookeeper Wear?

Zoo keepers who care for alligators in a Florida zoo are likely to wear lightweight shorts and short-sleeved shirts, while keepers working with hoofstock in northern Canada must wear heavy parkas and hats. In addition to their clothing, zookeepers wear gloves, safety glasses and other personal protective equipment. Zookeepers wear many different types of clothing, depending on their geographic area and the animals with which they work.

The most common uniforms for zookeepers include khaki pants or shorts and a matching shirt. Usually, these clothing items have numerous pockets for carrying tools. Some zoos require their keepers to wear official uniforms, while others allow their keepers to dress in their own clothes. Regardless of whether they choose their own clothes or wear a prescribed uniform, zookeepers must have clothing that is comfortable, resilient and easy to clean. Most zookeepers wear sturdy boots that help to protect their feet and provide the support they need to stand for long periods of time.

Additionally, some keepers have to wear clothing or protective gear to prevent them from being injured by the animals for which they care. For example, those who work with venomous snakes may wear snake-proof boots or face shields to protect themselves from dangerous bites. Likewise, those who work with small mammals may wear protective gloves that shield them from the sharp teeth of their charges.