This spring, one of our Golden Guernsey goats had triplets! It’s a pretty rare occurrence and with only the milk for two, bottle feeding has begun. It’s usually Richard’s job as Park manager living on site, but this season it fell to our two students Nanna and Louise students studying to be Zoo Keepers at a Danish college. They’re here for their second placements – having already spent six months with us last year. We get a steady flow of students from Denmark and they are really keen to learn.
The Danish college course requires them to get hands on practical work within an animal collection for 18 months over a 3 year period. This is interspersed with time at college for theory and means when they graduate they will have all the practical skills coupled with the theory needed to become great animal keepers.
During their time with us, Nanna and Louise will rotate through the various animal sections, giving them an insight into the care of Primates, Carnivores, Reptiles, Birds and hooved stock. Like Keepers, you often find students choose to specialize in a particular animal group, but it is essential to develop a good sound knowledge of how the entire zoo functions.
We work with students from the UK on work experience programmes from local schools and colleges and have a steady stream of would be vets through the summer months all eager to pick up husbandry skills only achievable by rolling your sleeves up and getting stuck in.
As well as a love of animals you have to get on well with people too. Visitors to the park love to find out more about the animals we keep, so being able to talk about what we do is also important. If you’ve visited us before you’ll already know we love talking about our animals!