Keepers Cerys Grove and Neil Flockhart are spending time in a virtual classroom as well as working alongside some of the rarest animals in the world.
Cerys, aged 21, and 43 year-old Neil, are studying for the Diploma in the Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animals (DMZAA) which covers conservation, care, nutrition and enclosure design throughout the two year course.
Their studies include internet-based communication as well as traditional on-site skills.
They will also study observation and the recording of animal behaviour, how to organise transport between collections, and deal with health issues, plus undertake personal research in a specialist area of their choice.
CEO Peter Suddock said:?”The course reinforces the high quality practical skills demanded at DZG, and we have ensured that all of our keeping staff have this qualification.
“Students are mentored by fellow keepers and given practical help and support by colleagues at every stage. Virtual learning enable students from collections across the country to share information immediately.”
He added: “Members of staff who have been through the programme are able to offer invaluable advice and there is always someone on hand to deal with any queries.
“We believe it is vital to our future that we have a qualified, highly motivated and committed workforce.
“Age is irrelevant; we look a passion for animals and conservation in our keepers, and it will be interesting to see how youth and experience work together in the case of Cerys and Neil.”
Neil, a former manager in the social care sector, has been working at DZG for four years.
He said:?”Working at DZG is my dream job, and the course will help me to develop specialist knowledge as well as achieving an all-round qualification.”
Cerys, who started at DZG when she was just 16 said: “I’m looking forward to working for my DMZAA. I love my job so much I go in on my days off to spend extra time with the zoo’s chimpanzees!”
CAPTION: DZG Keepers Cerys Grove and Neil Flockhart, who are studying for the Diploma in the Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animals (DMZAA)