A 14 year-old schoolgirl got close to some of the world’s rarest animals here at DZG when she turned keeper for the day and is already counting down the days until she can come back and do it all over again!
Louise Howell, from Bradford, loved her day shadowing the keepers so much, she is now more determined than ever to study Zoology, Conservation and Ecology and help make a contribution herself to the vital global breeding programmes in which zoos across the world participate.
During her day, which was organised for her birthday, Louise worked with birds, ungulates and primates and quizzed keepers about their jobs and the important roles zoo’s carry out as well as getting hands-on with a huge variety of animals, including flying an owl and hand feeding rare Madagascan lemurs.
Louise, said: “The day passed incredibly quickly and I would gladly have returned every day for the rest of the summer, as there was so much to see and learn about.”
However as Louise is only 14, she was unable to spend time with the big cats due to health and safety rules, so is already ticking off the days until she turns 16, when she can return and do another Keeper for a Day and come face-to-face with our lions and tigers.
Louise’s mum, Trish, said: “She absolutely loved her day with the keepers they were very knowledgeable and gave her a great deal of advice and information on the animals in their care. Louise was very keen to have access behind the scenes with one-to-one time with the keepers and Dudley Zoo offered a large animal collection, with lots of innovative enclosure ideas and world wide breeding programmes, which she was also keen to hear more about.”