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Actors presenting Keepers Talks

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by MRJ, 3 Apr 2015.

  1. MRJ

    MRJ Well-Known Member

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    Most zoos have set times for keepers to do presentations about animals in their care. As well as providing an educational opportunity to visitors, it gives them the chance to meet one on one with keepers. I have heard of actors doing presentations in the past as well, but only very rarely.

    However I heard the other day of a major zoo that has taken on actors to do presentations. I was surprised as this zoo had a long history of keeper talks by the keepers themselves.

    I was wondering if anybody was aware of other zoos that follow this practice currently, or if it is a trend? Also any opinions?

    Of course I am not talking about the large amphitheatre style presentations which do require different.skills.
     
  2. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    I remember about 25 years ago SeaWorld in San Diego had hired actors to do their bird show, which was not educational but simply a fictional story as entertainment.

    :p

    Hix
     
  3. Panthera1981

    Panthera1981 Well-Known Member

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    Whipsnade went through a, thankfully brief, period of employing actors to do their talks and the Passage Thru Asia train ride. It lasted for maybe a season due to negative feedback from both keepers and the public.
     
  4. stubeanz

    stubeanz Well-Known Member

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    Actors are certainly not needed. All it takes is a confident, enthusiastic keeper who has a lot of knowledge about their subject and can put it across in a fun way. Sadly I have seen plenty of zoo talks that have been bland, zoos need to train there keepers in this more but actors definitely not needed.
     
  5. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    Zoos differ in this. At Chester there are specialist presenters, known as Zoo Rangers, I think one Ranger does all the talks of the day when they are on duty (the list of talks and times changes on each day of the week); I am sure they regard themselves as teachers rather actors.
    At Bristol, a presenter does the talking with the keepers present, feeding the animals.
    At Paignton, I think the keepers do the talks themselves.

    Alan
     
  6. OrangePerson

    OrangePerson Well-Known Member

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    Do you mean actual actors or just 'not keepers'
     
  7. MRJ

    MRJ Well-Known Member

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    Actual Union regisered actors.
     
  8. OrangePerson

    OrangePerson Well-Known Member

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    How odd, I guess there really isn't enough work out there for actors! I'd prefer to think it's people with presenting skills who are interested in wildlife/conservation rather than actors!
     
  9. Regent

    Regent Well-Known Member

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    I have always found that the presenters at London Zoo are of the highest quality, professional and very knowledgable. I think from now on, there are 15 various talks taking place at the Zoo and the presenters maintain their enthusiasm throughout the day. These young people are only too willing to share their knowledge with the visitors, they certainly add to my visits.