In situations like these, key control systems can provide vital intelligence about what goes on behind the scenes at your zoo. Below are three benefits to tracking zoo keys electronically.
Detailed Reports Provide an Inside Look at Your Key Activity
Automated key management systems generate reports sorted by employee, time, date and key, which helps your zoo keep exhibit keys organized while also providing granular information about employees' activities.
Each key has a unique ID within the system, so you'll be able to see if employees are accessing enclosures when they shouldn't be, as in the case of a Cumbria zookeeper who was mauled after she entered a tiger enclosure without permission.
Access Levels Provide Employee Accountability
Though zookeepers are expected to know how to care for all animals, most zookeepers prefer to stick with one animal throughout their careers. For this reason, not all zookeepers need access to every key, but if all exhibit keys are kept in a single cabinet without varying levels of security, any employee can take any key.
A key system that has a total lockdown feature can prevent keys from falling into the wrong zookeeper's hands. When provided with the appropriate password, fingerprint or security card, the system will unlock only the applicable keys. Access levels are especially helpful for senior-level zookeepers who manage a team of keepers that access different exhibits. If you require a fingerprint to access multiple keys, the system will only unlock keys for the designated employees.
You Have a Starting Point for Tracking Down Escaped Animals
For example, if Jim accesses the gorilla cage key at 2:55 p.m. and Susan notices at 3:15 p.m. that the gorilla has escaped through the unlocked cage door, she'll know to ask Jim if he noticed anything unusual when he was at the gorilla enclosure.
Once you start tracking keys electronically, you'll be able to identify weaknesses in key management processes to help you make sure your zoo doesn't end up in the headlines.