PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — This week zoos around the country are celebrating and honoring their staff during National Zookeeper Week.

Zookeepers work every day to keep their animals fed, healthy, and happy. Keepers at the Peoria Zoo also spend their days answering questions from visitors and educating them about the animals they care for.

One caretaker says their observations are crucial for animal health and safety.

“A lot of times it’s really hard to spot when an animal is or feeling under the weather. They’re really good at hiding it. And so, it’s our job to spot that. If we have an animal with a limp, we definitely want to get ahead of that as soon as we can so that our veterinarian staff can take care of that for us.” said primary keeper Kenneth Lemon.

Peoria’s zoo is celebrating the hard work of their staff by bringing in food for the zookeepers during their shifts, and by going out to dinner later this week.