Three curators and their assistants work in the scientific department. They are responsible for the zoo's animal population.
The department liases between the zoo and international conservation breeding programmes. Some stud-books, such as that of the Socorro Dove, are managed in Frankfurt. The department is also responsible for ensuring that the latest scientific insights and regulations are followed in caring for our animals.
Two specialised zoo veterinarians take care of sick or injured animals as well as providing preventive health care. Most patients are treated directly in the enclosure or in the zoo's veterinary practice and are kept in quarantine if necessary. Our veterinarians also occasionally treat animals confiscated by customs and "stowaways" from the Frankfurt Airport. Wild and domestic animals can not be taken in or treated by our veterinarians in order to protect our animal population.
Many different departments are necessary to make a zoo function smoothly. The Press and Public Relations Department is responsible for communication between the zoo and various target groups, coordinating advertising measures and organising various events during the year. The Education Department conducts guided tours and keeps the signage up to date. The Administration Department takes care of personnel and financial matters.
The Nutrition department supplies all the animals in the zoo with a wide variety of foodstuffs. Some ingredients have to be cooked and different feed mixtures prepared for the animals with various vitamins and minerals added. Since the food supply and also the food requirements of the animals change depending on the season, the staff in the Nutrition department have to take this into account when ordering and distributing the feed.
Frankfurt Zoo employs its own tradesmen: locksmiths, carpenters, electricians, painters and plumbers – all with their own workshops in a building adjacent to the zoo. Amongst other things, they build animal transport crates and take care of a variety of repair and structural work within the zoo.
To maintain our park-like grounds, the zoo also has its own gardeners and nursery. This section takes care of about 2.6 hectares of meadows, trees, hedges, flower beds, aquatic plants and succulents. In addition, they care for the huge variety of tropical plants within the animal houses. In order to be able to replace unsightly or withered plants, the garden section has its own greenhouses.
The majority of the zoo's employees are zookeepers. The head of the animal department monitors the work rosters and animal care related processes.
Frankfurt Zoo contains eight animal sections – each with their own head zookeeper and team of animal keepers. The head keeper is responsible for all matters concerning their section. The team tasks include cleaning and setting up enclosures, food preparation, animal enrichment and assisting the veterinarians with medical care.
The 3 year apprenticeship to become a zookeeper covers all areas of modern animal husbandry, basic veterinary knowledge and behavioural biology.