Animal-Staff Interactions

Vicky Melfi, Samantha J. Ward, Chris Pawson, Geoff Hosey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Research on human–animal interactions has focused predominantly on the visitor–animal domain with little attention given to staff and the impacts that these work-based interactions have on both the animals and people involved. Some staff (keepers, veterinarians) will probably interact regularly with animals; other staff roles, such as curators, animal welfare scientists and nutritionists, might not interact with animals as much but will still influence their behaviour and lives through population management decisions, housing and husbandry design, and by influencing operational measures taken daily to manage the zoo and the animals. This chapter will discuss the impacts of the various staff and their interactions with animals, but will also bring into context a newer area of research – the impacts of animals on staff. In addition, we will present where to go next with this research. As the chapter makes clear, there are still many knowledge gaps to fill.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman-Animal Interactions in Zoos
Subtitle of host publicationIntegrating Science & Practice
EditorsEduardo Fernandez, Sally Sherwen
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781800622715
ISBN (Print)9781800622685
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2024


  • Human-animal interactions
  • Zoo animals
  • zookeepers
  • Zoos
  • zoo animal welfare


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