Primate keeper, Jade Reddall, recalled her adventures at a wild baboon sanctuary in South Africa during a slideshow presentation to DZG staff.
Jade updated the keepers on her month-long voluntary mission to the Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education (C.A.R.E) in the middle of the Grietjie Nature Reserve, back in November, where she worked with staff to care for wild chacma baboons and orphaned babies.
Jade said: “I was really nervous doing the presentation to begin with as I haven’t done much public speaking before, but it was really nice to be able to explain everything I did there and tell the rest of the staff about the amazing experience.”
DZG gave Jade paid leave to volunteer at the sanctuary and also donated tools and stationery to take out with her.
During her time there she carried out general daily animal husbandry, supervised the baby baboons in a nursery, carried out animal observations and enrichment, using materials such as stuffed elephant dung, frozen ices, forage boxes and scatter feeds.
Jade added: “I had a lot of questions at the end from the staff which is always good as it shows they were all interested in what I talking about.”
The keepers also brainstormed enrichment ideas to email back to C.A.R.E and discussed what they could use here at DZG.
Jade said: “The experience was incredible and much advised for anybody thinking of doing anything like this.
“I gained a lot of knowledge and experience, but they also picked up tips from me as an animal keeper and during my time I taught new volunteers techniques, enrichment ideas and spoke about animal behaviour.
“Hopefully now DZG and C.A.R.E can now build a partnership and help out wherever possible.”
For more information about Jade’s adventures and the Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education (C.A.R.E) make sure you check out her display in the Discovery Centre the next time you’re on site.