Daisy van der Meer is animal caretaker at petting zoo the Oedenstee in Hoogvliet. The Oedenstee is one of eight different petting zoos, which together fall under the Stichting Natuurstad Rotterdam (‘Nature-city Rotterdam Foundation’). Natuurstad encourages sustainable thinking and action through recreation, education and participation. At their eight special petting zoos and fourteen inspiring (school) gardens, visitors, young and old, discover and learn all about nature, the environment and sustainability.
Since early 2023, Natuurstad Rotterdam has been using ZooEasy for all its petting zoos. Daisy has been appointed super-manager of the ZooEasy subscription for all petting zoos. She tells us more about how this is working out:
“The Oedenstee where I am an animal keeper is one of a total of eight petting zoos within the Natuurstad foundation. Each petting zoo has about 100 animals if you include everything; cows and sheep, but also rodents, birds … from small to large. We have been looking for a while for the solution to get all these animals together within Natuurstad.
Initially, a colleague did all the administration in an Excel file. Once a month we had to fill in a separate Excel file for each petting zoo and send it to him, and he would update it in the large file on his computer. That was a lot of work.
In 2022, I joined the Animal File Project Group . Eventually we thought that the administration should be easier than Excel. That’s how we ended up at ZooEasy. A colleague already had experience with ZooEasy and we thought: why don’t we try it?”
“The initial idea to try something different actually started in 2022. After drawing up a plan, we started ZooEasy in early 2023 and scheduled courses. When ZooEasy was just introduced, there were still some question marks. In the beginning, some colleagues were still like: are we going to keep this information in multiple places? But after the courses, they changed their minds and saw that this can indeed work well. Their questions were resolved by participating in the course.
I have been appointed super-manager for the Natuurstad subscription. We also have seven management accounts, one for each petting zoo. Everyone keeps their own animal stock. My account can do everything, the other accounts have a few limitations but everyone can work well with them. For our location, I update our animal database with my account. So everyone keeps track of their own animals, and I keep track of whether they are keeping up.”
Collaboration with ZooEasy
“I experienced the cooperation with ZooEasy as very pleasant. If I had a question, it was answered fairly quickly. I got a very clear answer that I could work with. I have the idea that they really took the time for it, which is very pleasant. The biggest advantage of using ZooEasy is the insight into each other’s animals. Now I can look directly at all the other petting zoos, who has what and is it related? This allows us to limit inbreeding in the population when breeding.
Right now everything is working fine. I ran into a little problem with supply and disposal lists, but Jan filled it in completely to our liking and solved the problem. I have nothing now that I would want different.”