Zoo Keeper’s Residential – 26 – 31 August – 2018

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Reference: Frances Lee

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Frances has completed the award winning, Sam Sykes Ltd and Blackpool Zoo, DofE Zoo Keeper Residential course at Blackpool Zoo, from 26 – 31 August, 2018.

She has completed a five day course consisting of both independent, unsupervised tasks; and zoo taught modules covering both theoretical and practical elements on the following:

  • The work and role of a modern zoo
  • Research and animal behaviour
  • The value and purpose of enrichment
  • Specialised care
  • Digestion and nutrition
  • Presentation skills
  • Team building and group work

Each day began with a group groundwork task on zoo grounds, which consisted of clearing out an old enclosure in preparation for new inhabitants. Despite it being challenging at times this project was completed to a high standard by Frances and her peers over the week.

The end of each day consisted of small groups working on designing, building, and ultimately presenting, an environmental enrichment device for one or more species within the collection. These were then put into the relevant animal enclosure to be used. Frances’ group designed a well-structured device for one of the more playful animals in the zoo, meerkats.

Practical Ability

Frances has shown excellent work in all aspects of the practical side of the course. These have included cleaning animal enclosures, making enrichment items and preparing a range of diets for several of the species kept at Blackpool Zoo. She is clearly a hard working and motivated person.

Personal Qualities

Frances showed confidence throughout the course, and she contributed well to group work. She was enthusiastic, positive, and was a well liked member of the group. Frances showed she can work under her own initiative or as part of a larger team.

Frances set herself objectives for the week; to gain hands on experience with a wide range of animals which would help her in a future veterinary career, to learn about the care and conservation of the animals at Blackpool Zoo and to challenge herself by meeting and working with new people, developing teamwork and leadership skills. Frances met all of these objectives, thoroughly enjoyed her experience and we hope she is successful in her ambition to become a vet.

Victoria Sewell

Programme Manager Sam Sykes Ltd,
Mintsfeet Road,

Rebecca Reynolds

Education, Conservation and Research Manager Blackpool Zoo,
East Park Drive,

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