Zookeepers on exhibit for National Zookeepers week

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- People couldn't help but stop and stare at the newest exhibit at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

"I was kind of weirded out by it at first and she just kept that same face and I was like how long does she have to keep that straight face so it kind of made me laugh," says zoo visitor Mike Seeley.

Instead of animals, the zookeepers are on display in the Big Cat Country building.

The week-long display is a fundraiser for a conservation project at the University of Washington.

But it's also to celebrate National Zookeeper Week.

"Instead of having our cheetah on display we will have one of our keepers coming in and she`ll be playing the part of the animal basically. So they`re going to get a feel for what it`s like to be an animal and to have to live here at the zoo," says Zookeeper Dawn Kruger.

This event also educates visitors about the constant care the 54 zookeepers provide for the more than 3,000 animals at the zoo.

"That`s a lot of work to be doing like every day, feeding the animals, cleaning their houses and stuff like that," says zoo visitor Will Scheffler.

The zookeepers on display pass the time through enrichment activities, just like the animals.

"That`s kind of the purpose of enrichment is to get the animals active so the public sees them active as well as show off some of their natural behaviors," says Kruger.

Giving the zookeepers a whole new perspective.

"Now I've got some more ideas about what I can do to make our animals more entertained when they`re in here," says Zookeeper Amanda Ista.

A fun way to educate visitors and zookeepers on how to keep the animals happy and healthy.

Thee zookeepers will be on display in the Big Cat Country Building in the Milwaukee County Zoo daily from 10am - 4pm through Saturday.