Following in family footsteps

Newest recruit, Kim Jones, is following a family tradition by joining the DZG team.


The 19-year-old from West Bromwich has swapped childcare studies to become the zoo’s latest Apprentice Keeper, starting work on site exactly two years after older sister and Bird Keeper, Jess and mum, Tracey, who worked as a keeper three decades ago. 

Kim, who is based on the Upper Primates section, covering Lemur Wood and caring for the site’s macaques said: “Looking after animals is something I have always wanted to do, especially growing up and hearing mum’s stories and more recently seeing how much Jess loves working here.

“It’s a dream come true to be able to get so up close and personal with the animals, particularly the lemurs and I’m still getting to grips with learning who’s who, but I’m already recognising their personalities and traits.”

As part of her apprenticeship, which is run in conjunction with KEITS Training Services, Kim is receiving on-site training on the day-to-day running of the animal sections including dietary requirements, breeding and conservation, cleaning animal enclosures and speaking to members of the public, while being externally assessed as she works towards a Level Two in Animal Care.

Curator Richard Brown, said: “Kim has settled in very well to DZG life and she seems to be enjoying himself.

“We take training seriously here and this will enable her to become a fully-trained keeper, so we wish her well.”

Family footsteps…                                           

We featured Kim’s mum, Tracey, back in 2014, when sister, Jess began her apprenticeship – both pictured below. 


Tracey worked as a DZG keeper in the 1980s, working on the then North Section of the zoo site, caring for giraffes, guanaco, small primates and kangaroos and even hand reared a baby tapir, called Tuppence.