Meet the Keepers
29th May 2017
As part of Love Your Zoo Week our Keepers have been opening up to tell their stories and why they Love their jobs.
“My name is Andrew and I am one of the Carnivore and South American Keepers here at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm. I am lucky enough to spend my time doing my dream job, working with big cats and bears. I have always been passionate about animals, working with them and teaching others about them. I wouldn't change this job for the world. However, for me there is one underrated animal on my section, the Capybara. When asked in school to stand up and say my favourite animal and why, I chose the Capybara. My teacher then told me that I was making them up and there is no such thing as a Capybara! Now, a good few years later, I am working with them and even able to give them tickles under the chin!”
“Hi I’m Meg and I am an Elephant Keeper Apprentice. Working with elephants is extremely rewarding. Over time you get to know their unique personalities and see first-hand their exceptional intelligence, particularly when watching them work out how to use new enrichment toys. Personally I find watching them display natural behaviours, such as dust bathing and playing in the pond, particular highlights of the job. Working with these animals ensures each day is a little different so you are forever facing new challenges and experiences to learn from. It is lovely to have the opportunity, not only educate the public, but also to share my passion for elephants, hopefully inspiring a desire to protect those left in the wild. With all the threats elephants face in the wild and their consequent dwindling numbers, it is an honour to be given the opportunity to work alongside these magnificent creatures.”
“I’m Amy and I’m a Keeper of Big Cats and South American Animals at Noah’s Ark. I am lucky enough to have experience with a variety of animals, from fish and birds, to primates and carnivores, but my fiercest passion is for wild cats both large and small. Working with carnivores can be a challenge, but luckily training the cats to work with us for vet procedures and health checks is another big passion of mine! One of the reasons I wanted to be a zookeeper was to get to work closely with these amazing animals, but also so that I would get the chance to teach people about them and why we should protect them in the wild. As a zookeeper I get to be part of a community that wants to protect and care for the planet as much as I do. Zoos have an active role in promoting sustainable living and helping species in the wild; there are many species that would be extinct without the help of zoos. That’s what I want to do: make a difference. Whether it is teaching the public about sustainability or raising money for conservation efforts out in the wild, I want to protect the planet we live on.”
"Hi, I'm Jo from the Primate and Small Mammals team. Working with primates is a dream come true for me, though it does have its challenges. Being a zookeeper can be physically, mentally, and sometimes even emotionally draining. But, this is where my passion lies, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Lemurs hold a special place in my heart, as it was my love of lemurs and Madagascar that drove me to follow this career path. My dream is to go to Madagascar and help the front line efforts to save the wildlife there.I love being able to chat with people, share my passion with them, and bring people in touch with parts of the world we are losing at a significant rate. Conservation efforts are needed now more than ever, and we as zookeepers see it as our mission to teach others what they can individually do to help save what little wonder is left in the world."
"Hi I am Emma and I am the lead keeper of the Africa Section at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm. I have worked here for 6 years now and I really wouldn't have it any other way. Getting to be so close to such amazing animals is an honour and being able to develop such close bonds with them is really something special. One species particularly close to my heart is the giraffe, and their individual tall characters! I love educating our visitors about the plight of the giraffe in the wild and playing a part in the conservation of the species. The daily care of the African animals can be very tough work but it is highly rewarding. I particularly enjoy behavioural training for health care and creating enrichment to keep the animals mentally stimulated and happy. Zoos play a vital role in the conservation and preservation of species and I feel lucky to work in one!"
"Hi, I'm Lizzy and I'm an apprentice zookeeper on the Bird and Reptile Section at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm. I love my job because I do a lot of handling with the animals I look after. Before I came to the zoo I had no experience with birds of prey. But, now I've learnt to fly the owls and Harris Hawks. I can also now feed the birds of prey on my arm! Flying the birds is definitely my favourite part of the day. I love teaching people about the birds and seeing people's reactions as I swoop the birds over their heads. There's lots of fun over on the reptile section too. It isn't all feeding and cleaning, I create interactive enrichment and this helps to re-enforce the animals' natural behaviours. For example, I mix up the ways I feed our tortoises. Sometimes, I hang up their food to make them climb and other times I hide food around their enclosure for them to find. It's no wonder the cheeky ring-tailed lemurs come over to join in the fun too! Come and ask us keepers what enrichment we're giving to our animals when you next visit."
If you are interested in joining the team full or part time, or you need to undertake a work expereince placement as part of your studies check out our Careers Page.