Zoo Management 101

Zoos are large and complex organizations that must manage large numbers of workers, outside vendors and visitors at all times. A large municipal or state zoo may have literally tens of thousands of individuals present on the property at any given time, and this can pose major management challenges.

Tracking and Controlling Employee and Vendor Access

Controlling zoo access is vital for the security and safety of the animals and workers alike. A food vendor has no reason to enter the lion enclosure after all, but equally, a staff veterinarian must be able to quickly access any animal enclosure.

Modern ID cards can assist in maintaining zoo security. By being printed on site, they eliminate the long delay that comes from using contractors, and by including biometric, visual, and electronic access control and ID information, they help to track and control the bearer’s access privileges. For example, by recording what doors are accessed by any given ID card, it is possible for the security officers at the Zoo to track the location of any given individual.

RFID Tracking for Security and Safety

In addition to increasing security, real time radio frequency identification (RFID) cards can improve worker and guest safety by tracking their location. RFID tracking can be applied to ID cards, immediately alerting the authorities if a card enters a forbidden area, or remains immobile for too long, possibly indicating that the individual is in distress.

Guest Management via ID Card Systems

Another challenge to the zoo managers is handling the large number of guests that visit every day. As zoos are a popular destination for many families and other groups, providing inexpensive and reusable passes is an effective method of reducing costs and inconvenience alike.

By using onsite printing systems and inexpensive digital photography, these passes can include the individual’s name and photo, eliminating the danger of theft or fraud. By incorporating an electronic funds system, guests can pay for their tickets off site, as well as put money on their cards in order to purchase goods and services within the zoo. This allows the zoo to reduce the amount of cash being handled by workers, reducing the danger of theft or embezzlement.

Creating the Perfect Zoo Experience

By using various methods, including ID cards, to reduce the distractions from that experience, a zoo manager can help create the perfect destination for family outings and school field trips alike. In this way, effective ID and access procedures can enhance the zoo experience. By achieving this goal, zoo managers demonstrate that they are as important to the long-term success of a zoo as the animals on the site are.

Image by Will Survive and licensed through Creative Commons. 

Barb Ramey is a sales representative at CardPrinter.com, an e-shop dedicated to the ID card printing industry.