MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — This week marks national zookeeper week and zoos across the country will be celebrating, including zoos in Minot.

At Roosevelt Park Zoo, this week is just another way to appreciate what their zookeepers do behind the scenes.

At the zoo, the animals are the main attraction but not many people think about who takes care of the animals.

“Being a zookeeper is like no other job. Everyday is different, you know, we just don’t sit and cuddle with animals. We actually have to, you know, clean up after them just like you would at home. Clean up after yourself or your kid, but we also get to do interactions with them too, as far as training,” said Roosevelt Park Zoo Senior Keeper, Chelsea Mihalick.

Keepers commit to an unpredictable schedule as they are on call if needed.

Zookeepers say it is important for them to teach visitors about the animals and why they are so necessary, and that their job is more than what it seems.

“There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes. I mean we prep diets, we have to haul hay, there’s a lot of grounds work we have to do, we mow, we weed eat. Doing different landscaping things if we need to, so it’s not just what you see on TV,” added Mihalick

To show their gratitude for their keepers’ hard work, the Roosevelt Park Zoo will supply breakfast and lunch to staff this week.

Keepers say that they appreciate the recognition but for them this is not a job.

“Yeah it’s definitely not a job, a quote on quote job, it’s definitely something that you have to enjoy to do. It’s a lot of hard work, you know your nine to five,” said Mihalick

Mihalick says if visitors leave with a smile, then it was a good day at work.

If you are making your way to a zoo in our region this week, make sure to say thank you to the zookeepers.