Jo graduates with merit

Congratulations to Ungulates Keeper, Jo Turner, who has successfully achieved her Diploma in the Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animals, with merit!

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Jo has been undertaking the in-house zoo course for the last two years, run by Sparsholt College in Hampshire and has completed the assignments and carried out research alongside her daily keeping job.

She joined other keepers from animal collections around the UK for her graduation ceremony at Winchester Cathedral, where guest of honour was news anchorman, Alastair Stewart.

Jo, pictured right with Sparsholt College Zoo Course Manager, Andy Beer, said: “I’ve never been involved in a ceremony like that before, so it was really exciting to have your name called out and then go up and shake hands with Alastair Stewart. It was also a great opportunity to be able to get out of the keeper uniform and dress up smartly for a day!”

And Jo’s recent achievement will put her in great stead for her latest challenge, as she’s leaving DZG to take up a position as small mammal keeper at Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire.

Jo said: “I’ve loved my time at DZG and have gained so much experience over the last few years. But I’ll keep up with the zoo news, as I’ll have to keep checking up on my favourite animals – my reindeer herd!”

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DZG Registrar and Research Co-ordinator, Dr David Beeston, who is also Regional Co-ordinator for the course said: “Jo’s hardwork and perseverance over the last two years has paid off and we’re delighted with the outcome.

“She came out of the first year with distinctions and continued achieving similar successes in the second year with a lot of merits and great passes for her research projects.

“She’s gained plenty of valuable experience here at DZG which she’ll be be able to use in Yorkshire and we wish her well in the future.”