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Meet the team that make the Lake District Wildlife Park extra special.

on 7th March, 2018

If you have visited the park or planning to, you will know that the Lake District Wildlife Park is home to over a hundred species of rare and endangered animals, birds of prey and reptiles from all around the world.  All these fascinating creatures have varied and individual’s requirements to ensure they thrive, from stimulating habitats to special diets.  I would like to introduce to you the special people that make this happen.  Why not say hello to the team on your next visit… they don’t bite!

Name – Lauren Pickthall

Position – Carnivore Keeper

I am told on a daily basis by people about how I have the best job in the world, spending my time with the adorable animals. What people don’t seem to realise is how much time I actually spend cleaning up poop. My daily routine is; diet preparations, cleaning, feeding the animals, cleaning, keeper talks, cleaning, enrichment, cleaning, training and cleaning.  Honestly, no one ever warns you of how much poop is involved.

I have always loved being around animals so when I was a teenager I started volunteering at the wildlife park. The very first animal I met was muffin the Brazilian Tapir who followed me around the enclosure the whole time I was cleaning in desperate need for chin scratches. After a few weeks of being at the park I realised that this was what I wanted to do as a career so when I finished my A Levels I went on to complete a BSc Hons in Animal care at Glyndwr University.  Once I had graduated I was offered a place as a seasonal cover keeper at the wildlife park and after a summer they decided to keep me on full time.

After over 2 years of working with various different species of animals within the park I took on the role of carnivore keeper.  This role allowed me to build close bonds with the animals I now spent every day with.  The two Eurasian Lynx, nicknamed as the invisible cat for their shyness, greet me at the gate every morning with purrs and chuffs in excitement for their training session.  The Otters soon became my favourite animals at the park, with their playful mischievous nature and high pitched shouting whenever I dared to walk past without feeding them.

Now, 8 years since I first volunteered at the park I find myself agreeing with people when  they tell me I have the best job in the world….  poop and all!

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