Photo Comp 2022

2022 ASZK Wildlife Photography Competition

Fancy yourself as a bit of an aspiring wildlife photographer?

How would you like to see your very own shots on the front cover of the Thylacinus for all ASZK members to see?

It’s simple, the competition is open to anyone, so feel free to share with your friends. Here is all you need to know to get started…


Categories are:
1) Enrichment and Training – Show us your inspiring shots, great interactions, or utter enrichment bliss.
2) Funny Animal Moments – Show us your hilarious shots or candid moments. (You can add a small caption if you would like, 10 words max submitted with the image).
3) Animals in the Wild – Hit us with your best shot!
4) Artistic Animal shot – Let’s get creative!

Submissions are now open. All entries must be accompanied by a completed photo release form, found here. Send all entries to labelled as follows; Category-YourName-PhotoTitle e.g. Enrichment-HankScorpio-HappyLemurs.jpeg. Please also include in your email, your institution and/or address and cite “ASZK Photo Comp” in the subject line. Submissions that are incorrectly labelled or that are not accompanied by a release form will not be accepted.

Judging and Prizes

The ASZK committee will pick the three best photos in each category.

Then ASZK members can select their favourites – attendees at this year’s conference will vote for their favourite photo in each category! The winner in each category will receive a complimentary one year ASZK membership (digital Thylacinus only)

Prints of the finalists may be auctioned off at the conference to assist with the Society’s ongoing objective of supporting the professional development of keepers in our region. The 12 best photos as selected by the ASZK committee will also be included in a calendar

So get snapping, and let your photography earn you membership! Be sure to check Facebook to see some of the entries. Please stay tuned for more information about voting for your favourite photos!­­

2022 Annual General Meeting

For nearly half a century, the ASZK has remained a foundation in supporting keeper development and upskilling animal care professionals across the Australasian Region and our expanding industry.

The annual general meeting of the ASZK will be held virtually on Saturday May 14th at 2 p.m. AEST. Join us to learn more about your society and upcoming events, including our 2022 Conference.

The minutes from the 2021 AGM can be accessed here. The agenda for the 2022 AGM can be accessed here.

Proxy voting forms can be found here.

Please RSVP to by Monday 9th May. The meeting will be held on Zoom, and a link will be sent to all members who have RSVP’d the week before the meeting.

ASZK Conference 2022

The ASZK is excited to announce the 2022 conference will be held in Cairns, Queensland from August 26 – 28. The theme for this year’s conference is “Back 2 it in ’22”. The conference is proudly supported by the CaPTA Group – owners and operators of Rainforestation, Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, Australian Butterfly Sanctuary and Cairns Zoom and Wildlife Dome.

All the information you need for the conference can be found here.

Registrations are now open. Follow this link to register.

Please find a DRAFT copy of the conference program here.

If you are interested in sponsoring this year’s conference, all the relevant information can be found in our sponsorship prospectus.


The ASZK would like to thank their generous conference sponsors.


Gold Sponsor



Zoo Animals and Covid

The Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) has put out the following information around zoo animals and Covid-19

Australia and New Zealand are moving into a new stage of the COVID-19 pandemic in which we live with a certain amount of the virus circulating in our communities, with high vaccination rates and certain health measures protecting people.

 Through most of the pandemic, we have been fortunate to have either very low or no community spread whilst our zoos and aquariums have been open to the public, which has made the risk of our animals contracting COVID-19 incredibly low.

 As we shift to living with COVID-19, strict biosecurity protocols for the species most at risk of contracting the virus are more important than ever. Global monitoring shows that overseas whilst most cases of animals with COVID-19 seem to present with only mild symptoms, COVID-associated deaths have now been reported in a number of lions, snow leopards, and beavers.

These cases in animals are considered to have been acquired from humans and, in some instances, transmission has occurred despite staff being vaccinated and biosecurity protocols being in place.

We strongly suggest that members re-evaluate the risk to their animals with advice from their veterinarian, particularly in consideration to the species currently known to be at risk of contracting COVID-19:

  • Carnivora
    • Canids – domestic dog, raccoon dog
    • Felids – domestic cat, fishing cat, tiger, lion, cougar, snow leopard
    • Hyaenidae – spotted hyena
    • Mustelids – domestic ferret, American mink, Asian small-clawed otter
    • Procyonids – coati
    • Viverrids – binturong
  • Primates – gorilla, African green monkey, macaque species, baboon, grivet, common marmoset
  • Artiodactyla
    • Cervids – white-tailed deer
    • Suids – domestic pig
    • Hippopotamus – common hippo, river hippo
  • Pteropodids – Egyptian fruit bat
  • Rodents – beaver, hamster, bank vole laboratory mice (only with more recent COVID-19 variants),
  • Leporids – domestic rabbit
  • Tupaiids – tree shrew

Transmission of COVID-19 from animals back to humans has to date only been reported with farmed mink. Although the virus likely originated via transmission from bats to humans, there is no current evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading COVID-19 to people. However, a cautious approach may consider potential risks around transmission from animals to humans.

We have worked with the ZAA Veterinary SAG to develop a position statement, available to read on the ZAA Portal. Please note that as new information continues to become available this position statement will not be provided as a downloadable file whilst changes continue to be made. If you have trouble accessing the ZAA Portal, please contact

ZAA continues to monitor the roll out of the Zoetis veterinary COVID vaccine to zoo animals in the US. This vaccine is not available in Australia and New Zealand. Importation would require approval and registration by the relevant jurisdiction’s government authority. The Vet SAG are doing some early exploration of future options for vaccination in this region.”

Big Cat Survey

Western Sydney University are conducting research in to public perceptions around big cat welfare in zoos. This 5-10 minute survey will provide information for zoos and policy makers to find ways in which to keep the public engaged with big cat conservation.

To take the survey, click here. Survey closes February 10th, 2022.

Bowling for Sun Bears!


During December 2021, the Australasian Society of Zookeeping (ASZK) will be running its annual fundraiser. This year the Malayan Sun bear has been selected as the highlighted species through the Sumatran Bear Team (SSBT). The SSBT is a newly formed Australian charity with the goal to protect Sun Bears in Sumatra.

This annual bowling event aims to bring the Australasian zoo community together to raise money and awareness for a species in need. Together zookeepers and the wider community will unite to create local events, raising money for the selected species.

Previous events have seen us raise over AUD $100,000 which as been donated to projects dedicated to IUCN listed species.

If you’d like to run an event in your area, all the information you need can be found below

Or contact us at

UPDATE: 2021 Conference

ASZK Digital Annual Conference 12-14 November 2021 

“Keeper Konnect 4” – Connecting with each other, with the Public, helping the Public Connect to the Wild, and Connecting what we do in Zoos to the Needs of the Wild.

ASZK would like to invite interested zoo professionals to attend the 2021 ASZK Annual Conference, 12-14 November. Due to the ongoing restrictions associated with the Covid-19 epidemic, this year’s conference will now be held digitally.

ASZK Conferences offer great networking and skill-development opportunities and is an especially supportive forum for people presenting at their first conference.

Digital sessions are tentatively scheduled as below:
Friday 12th November – 6 PM to 9 PM
Saturday 13th November – 1 PM to 4 PM
Sunday 14th November – 10 am to 1 PM

The call for papers is now closed.

The conference information pack can be found here.

Registration is now closed.

The conference timetable is now available, as well as a booklet with paper abstracts and speaker biographies!

Please stay tuned for more information as it becomes available. We look forward to seeing you online in November!

2021 Annual General Meeting and Election

The Australasian Society of Zookeeping is celebrating our 45th year anniversary this year. For nearly half a century, the ASZK has remained a foundation in supporting keeper development and upskilling animal care professionals across the Australasian Region and our expanding industry.

The annual general meeting of the ASZK will be held virtually on Saturday May 22nd at 2 p.m. AEST. This year is also an election year for the ASZK committee.

The Committee operates on a voluntary basis with a number of well experienced and established individuals committing resources into developing workshops, knowledge-sharing, conferences, fundraisers, awards, and scholarships, all in the name of celebrating the passionate workforce dedicated to the professional care of our wildlife and habitats.

This May, the ASZK Executive Committee invites our Members to nominate in the upcoming biennial Committee Election. A committee of generally around 12 members is made up of an Executive Committee (six positions; President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Memberships Officer, International Liaison), and a General Committee (six to eight positions), and with terms of two years, all positions are up for nomination.

This is a wonderful opportunity to engage in a Region-wide platform to advance the skills of keepers, and best practice welfare of animals in our care.

We invite all interested parties to consider self-nominating or nominating a suitable candidate in advance of the AGM. Nomination forms can be found here. Proxy voting forms can be found here. Completed nomination and proxy voting forms should be emailed to the secretary at

The minutes from the 2020 AGM can be accessed here. The agenda for the 2021 AGM can be accessed here.

Please RSVP to by Monday 17th May.

The meeting will be held on Google Meet, and a link will be sent to all members who have RSVP’d the week before the meeting.

2020 ASZK Annual General Meeting

Due to the cancellation of the 2020 ASZK conference in Rockhampton, the ASZK was unable to hold its 2020 annual general meeting in present attendance. The AGM will now be held via a virtual platform (Zoom) on Sunday 2nd August, 2020, at 11 am AEST. All ASZK members are invited to attend the meeting to hear of the Society’s progress and plans for 2021.

The Committee invites all current Full, Associate and representatives of Corporate Members to log-in and attend.

Please RSVP to by Monday 27th July.

To view the agenda for the 2020 AGM, please click here.

To view the minutes from the 2019 AGM, please click here.

If you need to fill in a proxy voting form, one can be downloaded here.

Details of the Zoom meeting will be sent to all members the week before the meeting.


Animal Care Professionals Survey

The University of Tasmania is conducting research in to the resilience, wellbeing and mental health needs of animal care professionals. The study hopes to:

  1. Identify resilience and wellbeing (both positive and negative) of animal care professionals in Australia.
  2. Identify what individual and workplace resources would benefit these individuals.
  3. Develop readily accessible resources to promote resilience and positive wellbeing in animal care professionals.

This subject is obviously very relevant to the zookeeping community and this study will hopefully have some very tangible results for ASZK members. Those who complete the survey can enter a draw for one of six $50 Coles/Myer gift vouchers.

If you would like more information about the study, you can read the pdf provided by the University of Tasmania here.

To participate in the study click here.

The survey closes July 31, 2020.