Meet Our Team 11/08/2016
How long have you worked here? 4 years.
What animals do you work with? Giraffes, Okapi, Babirusa, Asian small clawed otter, Malayan tapirs, Congo buffalo, red river hogs, southern pudu, red forest duiker, Persian onagers, Bactrian camels, Philippine spotted deer.
Tell us an interesting facts about you: I rescued an umbrella cockatoo called Bimbo. I've also been lucky enough to travel to Africa ten times whether it be visiting friends, volunteering in nature sanctuaries or field work with Chester Zoo. I've also travelled to Soysambu AND Kidepo to see Rothschild’s giraffe in the wild and attended two giraffe conferences in the states to hang out with other giraffe geeks.
Why did you become a keeper? I've always loved animals and grew up with pets in the house (cats, rabbits, dogs, rats). Living 2 miles away from a local zoo and carrying out my work experience there gave me my first taste of a zoo keeper. I aspired to be like the head keeper and loved any job given to me.
What’s your favourite animal and why? I love giraffes. My first job was a trainee giraffe keeper in 2001. I love how graceful and gentle they are and how they all have their own character.
What’s the best part of your job? Getting to work with such amazing animals every day and getting paid to do so. Very rewarding job!
What’s the worst part of your job? Going home at the end of the day. Never switch off! Always wondering what the animals are doing.
What’s been your most memorable moment in your career to date? Meeting Anne Dagg and building a friendship up with her. Anne wrote a book on giraffes years ago and keepers refer to it as the bible. Anne is like the Jane Goodall of giraffes!! Also, breeding five giraffe calves in such a short time at Chester.
What’s so special about Chester Zoo? Chester Zoo to me is number one in the UK and to be team manager of the giraffes here makes me very proud.
Have you visited any of our conservation projects abroad ? If so which ones and what did you do? I was lucky enough to visit Kidepo Valley National Park (KVNP) in Uganda last year to see their population of endangered Rothchild’s giraffes. I helped one of our conservation partners, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation conduct their first ever census of the Rothschild giraffe in the park.