The Kingdom of Animal Enthusiasts
Take your sight off this page for a moment, and blur the line between reality and imagination. If that sounds too sketchy here’s an alternate version- try to recall the last time you were in a room with a lot of people and heard a scream so loud it could’ve torn the screamer’s gullet. The elucidator of the scream? A mucky insect about the size of a heap of not more than fifty ants. Chaos ensues for about a minute, until one person shoves past the pedantic screamer to get to the Insect- who is an obvious non do-gooder, shrouded in stupidity and obliviousness.
Then a warrior, an advocate for all of Insectkind (and Dogkind and Catkind and One-horned Rhinokind- you know the kind) picks up said Insect- something that instigates more screams-and sets it free. Up tempo music plays in the background as Insect is now free to carry on with its life with a newfound vigour and stupidity.
If you associated with the warrior and were not bemused by my audacity to call another being stupid, chances are, you could be a future Zoologist. Kudos to you, you’re awesome! If you’re like me, well, kudos to you too, because you learned a new thing today- how to identify a zoologist! (If you see one amongst your friends, coax them into reading our blogs, we can help them achieve immense success!)
Zoology actually is, as you’re about to find out, a pretty cool field to work in.
Since it involves the study of animals throughout the world, it is a diverse area of work; which means there is a lot to learn and a lot to study. If that doesn’t sit well with you, the flipside is that a zoologist has the most colorful job in world, and opportunities for travel are plenty.
To become a Zoologist, one must primarily hold a Bachelors in Science (in Zoology) degree. In addition, the student must have a lot of gusto for exploration, travel and documentation. It is always advantageous to acquire a higher degree, but a zoologist can get a lot of learning opportunities through work as well.
Job Profile: Zoology may achieve two goals- to study animals for their benefit, or to study animals for our, i.e. humankind’s benefit. Apart from harbouring a lot of compassion for animals, a zoologist is meticulous in collecting data, with an a knack for developing good interpersonal relations. Zoologists may have to travel to different parts of the world to carry out their research, so they should be able to find a means to get the co-operation of the local inhabitants of the location they’re at. Being approachable, kind and smart are qualities that would thus make a huge difference to a zoologist working in a remote area, where locals make trustworthy helpers and work associates.
Careers in Zoology span from being a Zoo curator to a documentary maker.
An individual who is especially good at handling animals and seeks comfort and satisfaction in caring for them can become a zoo keeper or curator. His/her job would include preparing meals for zoo animals, administering medicines to sick animals and checking other animals in the zoo for signs of odd behaviour, keeping in touch with a veterinarian and even looking after administrative and legal aspects of a zoo.
Conversely, a zoologist whose passion revolves around caring for and nursing animals out in the wild can find work as a wildlife rehabilitator. Work in this field would also involve taking an extensive account of geographical and geopolitical conditions of an area, and the zoologist must have an inherent affinity and determination for this kind of work. Zoologists in these situations are often faced with odds like opposition or lack of cooperation from local people or uneducated tribals, who are used to living their life in a certain way and are determined to not change according to the rules of an “outsider” Such situations require special tactics- which primarily include gaining the trust of the local people.
A zoologist can also specialise in Ethology- the study of animal behaviour, and become equipped to decipher what certain animal behavioural traits tell about their condition. This is a very exciting specialisation, as very few people have the ability to “communicate with animals” and professionals, who call themselves ‘animal behaviourists’ have garnered a lot of acclaim.
Skilled individuals may also find solace in educating others- by becoming teachers in schools and colleges or by seeking to train budding zoologists.
The field of Zoology is also exposed to a very interesting digression, with individuals who have acquired formidable knowledge by travelling across the globe and interacting with animals venturing in Mass Media. Classic examples are National Geographic, Animal Planet, etc. This occupation demands a very multi-faceted and experienced individual with a flair for venturing into uncharted territory, a captivating screen presence or having other skills like being a skilled photographer.
Zoology, in summary, is a field where qualities hold as much importance (if not more) as qualifications. It is pioneered by passion and compassion for animals, and certainly one of the most exciting and dynamic fields of Biology.