Meet Our Team
How long you have worked at the zoo? Three years
What animals do you look after? Parrot and penguin section which includes: Humboldt penguin, cockatoos, macaws, lorikeets, pheasants, passerines and the incubation and rearing facility.
Can you tell us an interesting fact about you? I was bought the penguin encounter experience here while I was studying at university because I was always penguin mad. Now, four years later, it’s my job!
Why did you become a keeper? When I was really young I wanted to be a vet. However, I was put off around the age of four after watching an episode of animal hospital which involved graphic surgery on a duck but I still wanted to care for animals. Being a zoo keeper was always something I knew I’d love to do after visiting Chester Zoo as a child but it was one of those unattainable jobs. While studying my degree I was always told that being a keeper was so competitive and really hard to get into which only motivated me more. I applied for the 12 month internship here at Chester Zoo when I graduated and much to my surprise I actually got it and now after staying on afterwards as a keeper I can’t imagine doing anything else!
What’s your favourite animal and why? It’s hard to narrow it down to a particular animal, but one of my favourite (apart from penguins…) are definitely Pheasant species. They can be so colourful and their courtship rituals are so unique and fascinating.
What’s the best part of your job? I really enjoy the satisfaction when a pair of birds that you look after successfully breed. During breeding season we supply nesting material, nest sites, special diets all to encourage the birds to breed. So knowing you got it all right is such a highlight!
What’s the worst part of your job? The worst part of my job would probably be when it’s been raining heavily and your shoes aren’t that waterproof. Soggy feet are just the worst.
What’s been your most memorable moment in your career to date? Being able to hand rear in my internship was one of my most memorable moments. In particular, I hand reared a Grosbeak Starling which was then released into the brand new Monsoon Forest enclosure on Islands. It’s amazing to see him in the enclosure with the rest of the flock.