Meet Our Team

Dave

How long you have worked at the zoo? Four years at Chester Zoo, 18 years working with animals.

What species do you look after? I manage the twilight team which oversees a diverse collection of species which include the following species; red panda, giant anteater, dwarf mongoose, two-toed sloth, naked mole rats, meerkat, aardvark, Rodrigues fruit bat and Visayan warty pigs to name a few.

Have you got any interesting facts about yourself? I manage the European and International studbook for the Rodrigues fruit bat. I am also co-chair for the BIAZA small mammal focus group. I also collect zoo guides and memorabilia.

Why did you become a keeper? From a young age I have always had a fascination with the natural world, being inspired by the likes of David Attenborough and Gerald Durrell. I liked visiting zoos with my parents when I was younger, even opting to visit a zoo rather than attend a friend's birthday party! I became a member of my local zoo and would attend the 'Oryx Club', similar to the junior members club here at Chester, visiting every month to help out the keepers. It was through these close encounters with some amazing and fascinating animals that inspired me to become a keeper.

What’s been your most memorable moment in your career to date? There have been so many I don’t think I have one memorable moment , so here are some of my highlights: being involved in the first breeding of Balabak mousedeer, naked mole rats and round eared sengi here at Chester Zoo, meeting David Attenborough, visiting Madagascar and Mauritius and Rodrigues Island to experience conservation projects.

What’s so special about Chester Zoo? Chester Zoo is a world renowned collection and I feel privileged to be a part of it. I think the story of how Chester Zoo came into existence is a special one, this was achieved through the hard work and dedication of George Mottershead, this hard work and dedication continues today through all the staff who work here at Chester Zoo.

Have you visited any of our conservation projects abroad? I visited Mauritius and Rodrigues island to experience the work being done by the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, which Chester Zoo supports. My main focus of the trip was to experience the Rodrigues fruit bat in its natural habitat, which included visiting roost sites and taking part in the island wide bat count which determines the overall wild population for this species.