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Just to put you straight on London Zoo, the volunteers' work there is extremely interesting and varied – sometimes rather too exciting! We are in sole charge of three walkthroughs so as well as talking about all the animals we have to make sure both humans and animals are safe. On top of that, there are touch tables, the information kiosk, gorillas to patrol, the craft centre to run, ferrets to exercise and anything else we can think of. If you want to be a keeper volunteer at ZSL however and have contact with animals (which seems to be included in volunteering at smaller zoos) you will need to be an ordinary volunteer for a year or so first, as the keeper volunteer jobs are so sought after and I suppose it's to prove you're enthusiastic.
yes sorry, I was only using London and Chester as examples because they're the two biggest zoos in the UK that came immediately to mind. I was mainly trying to say that because smaller establishments have fewer staff (in general) then there is more opportunities for volunteers to be part of the keeper experience. However the volunteer work at London Zoo certainly does sound much more exciting than I had envisaged
Sorry for late reply i have been really busy. I enjoy it very much and with it only being a small collection it allows me the chance to do a variety of jobs whether that be feeding/cleaning, building/renovating enclosures or just general jobs around the site. I also get quite a good insight into what it's like to run a zoo and behind the scenes sort of stuff that i might not have gotten had i volunteered at a bigger collection which is interesting.
[QUOTE=CiaranDUK;386798]@nb123: I have heard of Wingz Bird Sanctuary, but never visited and have no knowledge on the species they have. QUOTE]
I have posted a stocklist on this thread, Wingz Bird and Animal Gardens, however there are lot's transfers hopefully happening before next summer so it will all change.
Congratulations Ciaran, you are certainly in much stringer position now to gain a full time paid staff memebrs position in a similar role within any zoo / park within the UK now compared to 12 months ago.
Also worth noting to those who want to become keepers one day and cannot get a foot in the door, besides studying, it may be useful to get a job looking after livestock, even if only a day a week etc, helping farmers look after livestock will be more beneficial to you getting a keepers role than doing nothing with animals at all. So maybe those near farms could enquire into this as a possible foot into a zoo job one day.
PS - Ciaran - Camels can tend to drool, so maybe you haven't missed out too much not taking one out for a walk...
@nb123: Oh, well I am glad you're enjoying yourself. I kind of want to ask if I can help the building / renovation of enclosures to let them see I am willing to do whatever, really.
@Pootle: Thank you, I have previously had a paid summer job at Pensthorpe Nature Reserve, looking after the animal collection there, as well as six months volunteering/work experience there prior to that.I am also currently studying an Extended Diploma in Animal Management, of which I plan on volunteering at Banham Zoo for the duration of. So, hopefully, with all of this together, it will put me in a greater position when applying for jobs.
I have been in the Camel house enough times to realise that camels drool at any given chance! :P
Wow, well, a lot of time has passed since I started this post... I am still volunteering at Banham Zoo, but only during summer months as I'm now at university in Liverpool.
Of course, since my last post, a lot has happened... Snow Leopard births and the offspring's subsequent departure, more Snow Leopard births and their subsequent deaths, a new Grevy's Zebra stallion (whose name I forget), Pallas' Cat kittens, more and more Swainson's Lorikeets, Ben's (adult male South African Fur Seal) death, the most successful fundraising evening in Banham's history, the opening of Lemur Encounters, and now soon Banham and AA! will be under the ownership of the ZSEA (Zoological Society of East Anglia)!