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Trotters World of Animals and Newton Rigg College celebrated their first year of education and practical experience together with a final feedback trip to the park. Students spent time with their favourite animals and took part in a feedback session to help develop the Animal Husbandry course for the future.
Students on the Level 3 Animal Management Course, who had a variety of different aspirations, skills and abilities, were given a real insight into the role of zoo keepers and the management of a diverse animal collection; connecting conservation, animal husbandry, education and welfare.
Clare Murphy, Section Leader Animal Management and Equine at Newton Rigg said “The link between the college and Trotters World of Animals has given fantastic opportunities for both staff and learners to experience animal management in a real life vocational environment. Zoo staff were friendly, supportive, and inspirational but at the same time realistic, down-to-earth individuals with substantial experience and knowledge. We are confident that this partnership will continue to grow and develop to the benefit of Trotters World of Animals and our Animal Management learners.”
The feedback day was extra special for student Gemma Slater who was celebrating her 18th birthday. She had chance to fly one of the Harris Hawks for the first time. “It was an amazing opportunity and I learned a lot about how to handle the birds properly. John the Bird of Prey Keeper has superb knowledge - all the keepers are very friendly and helpful. We’ve had a great time working here.”
Richard Robinson, Trotters World of Animals Park Manager said “We have worked with the college for a number of years, but this is the first time we have been part of their formal education plan. It was fantastic to see the students develop in confidence over the weeks and our keepers really enjoyed working with them. The feedback from students, keepers and teachers alike was very positive and there were great ideas which will be incorporated into next year’s syllabus – we want to make their experience
even better. School leavers considering the Animal Husbandry course as an option for next year will find it has a lot to offer.”
Trotters World of Animals is more than a visitor attraction; core to their ethos is education and conservation. As well as working with Newton Rigg and schools, the keepers are also working with local conservation projects and others in Madagascar, Africa and Asia.
Throughout the summer the park is running Zoolympics and providing activities like the Keeper Experience and Meet the Meerkats.
For more information about what’s on for the summer at Trotters World of Animals, visit www.trottersworld.com or call 017687 76239.
Picture shows Gemma Slater 18 getting to fly a Harris Hawk