Toughest job in China? Zoo seeks panda keepers
The difficulties around raising giant pandas in captivity are in the news after a zoo received hundreds of applicants for panda keeper jobs but said it could not find any suitable candidates.
Nanshan Mountain Bamboo Scenery Zone in eastern China’s Jiangsu province told the Modern Express that recruitment had been a “headache” for years and the zoo could not recruit enough panda caretakers due to a lack of qualified people.
A manager at the tour zone said being a panda keeper is more complex than most people realize and involves much more than feeding and playing with them.
He added that the job has high benchmarks for professionalism, personality and observation skills.
“There are many detailed requirements for a keeper during the raising of pandas, such as weighing their feces, observing the pandas’ moods and distributing bamboo by scattering it around and leaving it in a vertical position,” the manager said. “Perhaps due to the high threshold, we found very few applicants meet our requirements. So far, none of them has been recruited.”
The manager said they wanted panda keepers with degrees in livestock rearing or veterinary medicine who are patient and responsible.
“They must love animals. Having experience raising animals in a zoo is a plus,” said the manager.