Brimming with ideas!

It’s been a busy few weeks for a host of DZG keepers who have taken part in various animal courses and returned brimming with new ideas!

Jade Reddall and Josh Luxton attended the two-day ABWAK (Association of British and Irish Wild Animal Keepers) Symposium, where they networked with keepers from across the country at Folly Farm in Wales.

During the event Josh took part in a giraffe workshop, while Jade learnt about enclosure designing on a budget.

Josh, who was attending his first ever ABWAK conference, said: “During my workshop we made a willow ball, a different type of enrichment device for the giraffes as well as exploring their giraffe house and discovering how they worked with their giraffes.

“It was a really useful weekend and I brought back lots of ideas that I can hopefully adopt here.”

Jade said: “My workshop was really interesting, we had to carve concrete to make it look like rocks.

 “We also bought a book about identifying browse, which will definitely come in useful for the spring when we need to identify plants and trees to feed the animals with.”

Keepers Adam Wrench and Holly Clayton-Wright also focused on giraffes when they took part in a conference at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

The pair heard about all aspects of giraffe husbandry and enrichment.

Adam said: “It was a really interesting day and actually highlighted how much we do right with our giraffes.

Senior Keeper Sam Grove learnt all about crocodiles when he attended the three-day BIAZA’s Reptile and Amphibian Working Group at Crocodiles of the World in Oxfordshire.

Joining 50 reptile keepers from collections around the UK, Sam took part in lectures and research talks about the species.

Sam said: “I came back with lots of information about crocodiles and husbandry ideas.

“This is the fifth one I’ve attended and it’s usually the only opportunity we get to meet up with fellow specialist keepers, so they’re very useful.”

Meanwhile primate keeper Jade joined Presenter Dorrie Hall for the third International Animal Training Conference at Twycross Zoo.

The three-day event, that was attended by animal delegates from across the world, focused on all aspects of animal training.

Jade said: “It was a great three days, we learnt lots and can’t wait to put some new things into place and try some new techniques with animals.”

Curator Richard Brown, said: “Attending conferences like these are great experience for our keepers. Not only do they get the chance to discover new things, they also get to network with fellow keepers from different animal collections and swap ideas and techniques, so always prove valuable.”