Asheboro, NC - In recognition of the dedication of its zoo keepers, the North Carolina Zoo is joining the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) and other zoos across the nation in celebrating National Zoo Keeper Week, July 21-27.

Created by AAZK, Inc, National Zoo Keeper Week is celebrated each year beginning on the third Sunday in July. During the week, zoos nationwide honor the nearly 6,000 animal care professionals in the United States and the work they do in animal care, conservation and education.

The AAZK is a non-profit volunteer organization made up of professional zookeepers and other interested persons dedicated to professional animal care and conservation. The mission of AAZK is to advance excellence in the zoo keeping profession, foster effective communication beneficial to animal care, support deserving conservation projects and promote the preservation of our natural resources and animal life.  For more information, visit

The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, John E. Skvarla, III,  Secretary; Pat McCrory, Governor.