Can Zookeepers Wear Jewelry?

Can Zookeepers really wear jewelry in the course of their jobs? The answer is simple. Yes, zookeepers can wear jewelry.

There are a lot of factors that determine the type of jewelry you should wear and the occasion you should wear them.

Can Zookeepers Wear Jewelry

The choice of clothes for zookeepers and their attire goes beyond the need to follow fashion trends. Safety is the first thing that comes to the mind of every zookeeper and zoologist.

You don’t dress to slay when you know you will handle a rhinoceros, a Siberian tiger, or a Lion.

A zookeeper can wear pieces of jewelry but they must be short and not dangling. It also depends on the type of jewelry you want to put on, the class of animals you are handling, and the rules of the zoo.

Most zoos allow their workers to wear single stud earrings but necklaces are not allowed. The rule for wearing jewelry in a zoo is simple.

Don’t wear any jewelry that an animal can easily rip off. Because truthfully, animals like birds or monkeys will certainly go for those shiny gems on your body.

What kind of jewelry can Zookeepers wear?

Knowing what zookeepers can wear in a zoo will help you uphold the spirit of conservation and animal preservation. This also helps in maintaining a good working environment.

Here is a list of the kinds of jewelry that zookeepers can wear:

  • Stud earrings
  • Wristwatch
  • Wrist bands
  • Hand Bands
  • Bracelets

Stud earrings

Stud earrings are usually small, easy to wear earrings. They are carefully pinned to relax on your ear lobes without dropping or dangling around.

Stud earrings give you a smart look. More importantly, it eliminates the possibility of animals reaching for your ears.


Your decision to wear a wristwatch depends on the type of animal you are taking care of. This includes the environment involved.

You can’t wear a wristwatch to take care of aquatic animals in the zoo, but you can wear them to take care of other animals.

In rare cases, you might consider going for water-resistant watches.

You might not consider wearing a wristwatch as an important accessory in a zoo. However, you wouldn’t want to work overtime and get caught up in time without effectively delivering your duties.

Wrist bands, Hand Bands, and bracelets

As a zookeeper, you can wear wristbands. From animal-themed wristbands to casual wristbands, you can customize your outfit with one.

You can decide to go for recyclable and biodegradable wristbands.

In place of wrist bands, you can wear a bracelet. However, you must ensure that they are tightly fitted.

This will prevent the possibility of getting them stuck in an unpleasant situation.

What kind of jewelry can zookeepers not wear?

Can Zookeepers Wear Jewelry

One of the most important things that every zookeeper looks out for every day is what they put on.

A zookeeper’s outfit sends direct information to an animal. They can see you as a threat, or a friend, just by accessing your attire.

Here is a list of jewelry that zookeepers cannot wear:

  • Long earrings
  • Necklaces
  • Jewelry made from seashells, feathers, and animal part

Long Earrings

There is a high possibility that your ears could get stuck in a cage, or get dragged by an excited animal.

You wouldn’t want to experience the pain that comes with a forceful drag on your ears. Some zoos have firm policies against the use of earrings around animals.

This is because of how dangerous it can be.


Just like dangling earrings, necklaces are red flags for zookeepers. You mustn’t wear necklaces, especially if you are going to be having free contact with the animals.

Some zoos might not have strict rules against wearing necklaces, but for your safety, I will advise you not to wear them.

Jewelry made from seashells, feathers, and animal part

There are a lot of reasons why most zoos restrict zookeepers from wearing jewelry made from seashells, feathers, and animal parts. Animals have a huge attachment to appearance and clothing.

Clothes with animal skin or parts will make the animal see the wearer as the animal.

This places the human being in the category of a predator or prey.

Jewelry made from animal body parts can pass strong meanings to animals. You wouldn’t want to be a victim of circumstances.

Heavy gold chains

One of the simplest rules on what zookeepers should wear is “don’t wear items that you can’t afford to lose.” Zoo keeping usually comes with a lot of unexpected scenarios.

Gold chains are flashy and can become too attractive for overly-excited animals.

Domestic animals like dogs love jewelry, but the case might be different for wild animals.

A zookeeper should not put on any jewelry that has the potential of jeopardizing your safety.

Five facts you need to know about zookeeper’s outfit

Having a clear understanding of a zookeeper’s uniform and what zookeepers should wear increases your chances of survival. This also impacts your level of friendliness amongst these animals.

Here are important facts that you need to know about the zookeeper’s outfit:

  • A zookeeper’s uniform must meet the dress code of the zoo
  • Sturdy boots, with toe caps and durable materials
  • Your outfit depends on the type of animal in your custody
  • Environment factors and temperature determine the zookeeper’s outfit
  • A zookeeper’s outfit must prevent germ transfer and contamination of disease

A zookeeper’s uniform must meet the dress code of the zoo

Every zoo has a set of rules and policies binding its operations. Zoos have clear and detailed rules that make up the dress code for their junior and senior colleagues.

A zookeeper’s uniform includes;

  • A pair of khaki shorts or trousers
  • Customized and branded Tshirts
  • Appropriate shoes

Some zoos have rules against the use of earrings for zookeepers, while some allow stud earrings. A lot of zoos abhor body inscriptions, tattoos, and piercings. You must study the zoo’s dress code and know what is obtainable and what is not.

Sturdy boots, with toe caps and durable materials

A zookeeper must take into account the type of shoes that he wears. You shouldn’t restrict your safety routine to your upper body. Your feet are also essential.

A good zookeeper’s outfit should include shoes with covered toes, and heel caps.

Shoes with openings are not allowed. As a zookeeper, your body will come in contact with different microorganisms.

Apart from infecting the animals, you wouldn’t also want to get infected. The quality of your shoes also matter.

Light canvas shoes and sneakers are not the best options for zookeepers.

You can opt for thick rain boots if you are working around swampy areas or safety jungle boots for drylands.

Check out a list of my related Zookeeper outfits you can wear here:

Your outfit depends on the type of animal in your custody

Your outfit when you are taking care of crocodiles, penguins will differ from when you are taking care of an ape.

A zookeeper in charge of seabirds and animals will need some pairs of waterproof kits.

This will ensure that you are dry during the entire process. Choice of clothing will shift to cotton cloths, to ensure breathability and ventilation.

You would also consider staying warm and free in any condition you find yourself in as a zookeeper.

Environment factors and temperature determine the zookeeper’s outfit

Zookeepers choose their outfit according to the temperature of the day. You wouldn’t want to get sunburned or drenched in sweat. You also wouldn’t want to catch a cold during the cold seasons.

There are different clothing materials for zookeepers. From wool to cotton, there is a cloth for every season.

The environmental situation of the day should act as a signal for choosing the perfect outfit.

A zookeeper’s outfit must prevent germ transfer and contamination of disease

A lot of zoos mandate their workers to put on facemasks, gloves, shields, or protective gear.

Because of the genetic composition of human beings with animals like monkeys, apes, or gorillas, there is a high tendency of circulating germs.

Your outfit must be clean and sterilized. For additional safety, you should only put on your zookeeper uniform when you are at work.

You can come to work in your casual clothes. This will reduce the possibility of accumulating germs on your way to work.

FAQs on Zookeepers dress code

Are zookeepers allowed to have tattoos?

Yes. Zookeepers are allowed to have tattoos. However, you must ensure that your tattoos do not pass any offensive information or pose a threat to the animals or fellow workers.

Most times, it boils down to the zoo and its dress codes. Some zoos have lenient policies that allow zookeepers to have visible tattoos on their arms, or anywhere they like.

Some other zoos may have strict policies that do not allow tattoos on workers.

Working in a zoo that doesn’t allow tattoos does not necessarily mean that you will have to wipe them off. You will have to wear long sleeves and ensure that those tattoos are covered.

Zookeepers must ensure that their tattoos are not profane, offensive, or pass out sensitive information that is hurtful. This will not only keep you safe but eliminate any chance of provocation.

Can zookeepers have colored hair?

Yes. Zookeepers are free to have and keep colored hair. But, your hair color must be natural and they must meet the unique and appropriate color requirement of the zoo.

Most zoos keep a strict rule on the appearance of their staff. Not because keeping bushy or colored hair will cause misrepresentation of your identity, but it will also ensure that you look neat and smart.

As a zookeeper, your hair must be groomed, neat and clean. This includes your facial hair. Some zoos might provide a standard hairstyle for workers. Some other zoos may not.

But you must understand that the appearance of a zookeeper passes subtle notes to the animals. You wouldn’t want to get an animal triggered by your looks.

Can zookeepers have piercings?

Yes. Zookeepers can have piercings. But, it depends on the zoo and its dress code.

One of the first questions you should ask during your first day as a zookeeper is; “what are the typical rules about piercings while working as a zookeeper?”

The issue of zookeepers having piercings also depends on the part of the body. This goes beyond the zoo management deciding for her workers how to dress.

It will be painful having your nipple piercing caught in between a sharp corner. There are high chances that energized animals will reach out for your piercings.

Some zoos will be skeptical about the type of piercing you are coming with; hidden piercings, industrial piercings, or pierced ears.

However, if you already have piercings, you might consider taping a plaster over them or using a gauze patch. This is necessary especially if you are having close contact with animals.

Can zookeepers have dyed hair?

No. Zookeepers should not keep dyed hairs. You are free to keep your natural hair low and neat. Some zoos allow their workers to style their hair. But, you shouldn’t go all frenzy with your hair dye.

Working in a zoo needs total attention and carefulness. It’s not the same time as working in a library or a supermarket.

Your dress style doesn’t just affect you, but also the animals in your custody. To stay on the safe side as a zookeeper, keep natural hair.

If you must dye your hair, choose the right colors; black, blonde, brown. Fancy colors like blue, purple, or pitch are not allowed.

Nevertheless, ensure that you confirm from your zoo management if you are free to dye your hair. This includes the acceptable colors.


Zookeeping is an amazing career. It helps you build bonds with animals and also aid in the conservation of wildlife.

For work efficiency, zookeepers are advised to maintain a healthy work environment.

From what they wear, how they present themselves, and their body language, professionalism is highly needed.

Ensure that your zookeeper uniform is clean, comfortable, and well-spaced. Instead of tight jeans, a zookeeper should put on cargo pants.

Sometimes, most zookeepers prefer sneakers to steel-toed safety boots. This is because of the weight of the safety boots, and how difficult it is to run in them during danger.

Whichever choice you make, ensure that the zoo management is comfortable with your decision.

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