Caring for sharks and rays in Port Stephens is a labour of love! These photos show just how special the bond between fish keepers and our animals are. The animals rely on them for feeding, care and conditioning. And the keepers have a deep connection the animals they care for, they understand their unique traits and personalities and know all their little quirks. Each animal is unique even if they look similar! It takes a long time for keepers to recognise each of their individual features and get to know what they all like and need.
The zookeepers here at Irukandji have had lots of training in handling fish and sharks. It takes compassion and love for animals as well as hard work and dedication. You also need to have a strong stomach! Caring for animals of any kind is messy and dirty. Zookeepers are responsible for keeping their animals home clean and hygienic so there’s plenty of cleaning involved in being a fish keeper. They also need to ensure the sharks and rays are properly fed, so that means lots of food preparation and even administering supplements.
As you can imagine the keepers here at Irukandji are also highly educated. Many have tertiary degrees in marine science, zoology and animal husbandry. It takes more than just passion to be a fishkeeper, you also need knowledge and understanding of these animals and their environment.
You can learn more about our amazing animals by following us on social media and checking out on gallery here.
Check out the cute video below for some fun interaction between staff and creatures!