Conservation isn’t just for Christmas!

Meet our new conservation education team who hope to inspire the next planet guardians.

Heading the crew is a familiar face, DZC’s Conservation Officer Chris Leeson, who’s working alongside Beth Randell (top right) and Carrie Davies (bottom right) who have just completed their first Christmas at Dudley, where they’re all based in the Discovery Centre.

Chris said: “The brand new conservation education team has been put in place to help educate schools, college students, university students and our general visitors, not only about the animals here at the zoo but the wider environment too. We want to be discussing what threats are facing our planet, the different ecosystems, wildlife and even ourselves. Our aim isn’t to scare anyone or put a bit of a sad note on anyone’s day but show how we can all play our part to preserve the planet we live on and all its inhabitants.

“We plan to make DZC even more conservation focused not just with our education talks and sessions but with signage and new experiences in the future to show what we do here at the zoo but also what you can do too.

“We can’t wait to see you all while we are out and about on the zoo site so don’t be afraid to come say hello, we’re the ones wearing blue!”

Meet Beth and Carrie…

Do you have a zoo / animal background?

Beth – I Graduated from University in 2019 where I studied Zoology. I have volunteered at various zoos before but this is my first full time position working within a zoo, previous to this I was working with the education and engagement department of Kent Wildlife Trust.

Carrie – I have a degree in Zoology from Swansea University.

What drew you to the role?

Beth – I really enjoy teaching people about animals and inspiring them to care about species that face extinction, and what better place to do this than in a zoo! I also really liked the mix of education work and animal husbandry that this role involves.

Carrie – I love talking to people about conservation and ways they can help, which is why I love doing the animal talks.  It’s my way of doing my bit to try and help save the planet.

Have you always wanted to go into zoo education? Why?

Beth – Not entirely, I have always known that I wanted to work with animals but wasn’t sure until more recently exactly what to specialise in. I chose to study zoology as an undergraduate but it was only when I was volunteering in the education department of a zoo that I discovered how much I enjoyed engaging with and educating the public.

Carrie – I’ve always wanted to work on the ground, alongside animal keeper and spread the conservation message to the public. I think it’s really important to make messages engaging and fun as people will more likely listen and care for the world around them.

 How are you finding life at Dudley Zoo?

Beth – I am thoroughly enjoying life! It’s wonderful working with all of the staff and animals here. Everyone has been so welcoming and it has been lovely to start with Carrie so I’m not the only newbie!

Carrie – I absolutely love it and I’ve done my first talks and education sessions which went really well.

 Have you got a favourite animal in the Discovery Centre?

 Beth – It’s very hard to pick a favourite, but I do love the ferrets.

Carrie – I love the leopard geckos!

Have you got a favourite animal on site? 

Beth – Again it’s difficult to just choose one, but if I had to, I would say the Lemurs. They have the sweetest faces and I could spend hours watching them.​

Carrie – Definitely the sealions!