Meet Our Team 11/08/2016

Kirsten

  • Habitat - Painted Dogs

How long have you worked here? 8 years as a zoo keeper, 2 year at Chester Zoo.

What animals do you work with? The twilight section - aardvarks, meerkats, porcupines, fruit bats, red pandas, giant anteaters, rock hyrax, sloths, sengi, naked mole rats, mouse deer, dwarf mongoose, visayan warty pigs and many more.

Tell us an interesting facts about you: So far I have been to 85 different zoos all over the world and aim to visit as many as I possibly can. I have also been on Total Wipeout and my colleagues love to make me cringe by watching it over and over again on lunch times!

Kirsten Wicks - Chester Zoo

Why did you become a keeper? When I was younger, the idea of being a zookeeper was up there with being an astronaut - like "not a proper job but someone somewhere must be lucky enough to do it". The animal kingdom has always fascinated me and I enjoy being outdoors and getting stuck in with practical jobs, so becoming a zookeeper seemed like a dream career. When I was leaving school I thought "what have I got to lose?" so I pursued it and here I am at Chester Zoo 8 years later, living the dream.

What’s your favourite animal and why? I enjoy working with the aardvarks the most. They are unusual animals and are often misunderstood. They're nocturnal so people usually see them when they're sleeping. However, if you are lucky to see them when they're up and active you can appreciate what amazing, unique creatures they are.

What’s the best part of your job? It is really rewarding when the animals actually appreciate your hard work (which isn't that often). An example would be if I spend an hour collecting big, heavy rotten logs for the aardvarks and they spend ages ripping the logs apart foraging for bugs.

Kirsten Wicks - Chester Zoo

What’s the worst part of your job? No matter how hard I work, I will NEVER be rich.

What’s been your most memorable moment in your career to date? For me personally, Chester Zoo is all about opportunity. It is a great organisation with an amazing vision and there's a real feel good factor to working here. I am very much looking forward to the future of Chester Zoo and Act for Wildlife and feel proud to be a part of it.