Home' LOTL : Aug 13 Contents 16 Lesbians On The Loose Magazine • lotl.com
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16 Lesbians On The Loose Magazine • lotl.com
That eternal question wheeled
out at parties, networking
events or during small talk
with a new acquaintance, we
sat down with three women in
very different industries to ask
them that exact question.
So, What Do You Do
Iam a zookeeper at Taronga Zoo in
Sydney. I work as part of the Backyard
to Bush Team which encompasses a
range of native Australian animals including
mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and even
invertebrates, domestic livestock and animals
that are commonly kept as pets in Australia.
I specialise in our education department and
spend my day looking after a wide variety
of native Australian animals that are used
for education classes, school groups and our
overnight guests. It teaches them all about the
exciting wildlife we have at our doorstep! I
have grown up loving and respecting animals,
both wild and domestic pets. It wasn’t until
I had finished my year 12 HSC and realised
that becoming a ver y rich lawyer was no longer
on my priority list that I decided to study the
Certificate II in Animal Studies at TAFE
and see where that would take me. During
my classes, I realised how little my fellow
classmates knew about our native Australian
animals. Whilst volunteering at Taronga Zoo
I realised that I too had ver y little knowledge of
animals that share our own backyards! It soon
sparked my passion for Australian animals and
suddenly zoo keeping was all I wanted to do -
and more specifically, educating people about
Australian natives was my ultimate dream.
How lucky I am to be there today!
My working day starts at 7:40am so that
means a 5am wake up call for me as I live about
an hour and a half away from the zoo.
The morning is the busiest part of my day
as it is spent ensuring that all my animals and
their exhibits are cleaned, ready and waiting for
when the zoo opens at 9am.
Being a zookeeper, I spend 90% of my day
taking care of the animals and their daily needs.
I clean their enclosures, feed them, ensure they
are in excellent condition and health, and
also provide them with a range of stimulating
activities to fill their day.
The other component of my job is public
interaction and education. This includes
providing a range of both structured and
impromptu keeper talks and animal encounters,
and dealing with the day to day queries of the
public relating to the animals in my care.
Ever y day is different in this industry,
animals do not know how to follow routines
and procedures and there are a whole new lot of
people coming to the zoo. But it always makes
for a challenging and exciting day.
Working with the animals is truly incredible.
Each and ever y individual animal is different
and they have their own personalities and traits.
Getting to know those animals and being able
to connect with them is the most amazing
feeling in the world – it is even better knowing
that these animals are helping you to make a
difference for their cousins in the wild!
For anyone wanting to pursue a career
in zoo keeping ; it is a highly competitive
industry. So I encourage them to volunteer
as much as possible in any animal related
industry to build up as much experience
and knowledge as they can. Attend lectures,
seminars and training related to the zoo
industry and complete your qualifications in
order to be able to apply for a job should one
become available. (taronga.org.au)
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