On Wednesday we (my Zoo Science class) had the chance to visit Chester Zoo! During my time at Shuttleworth College I had heard a lot about it, it is considered the best zoo in the UK for enclosures and welfare; one of my teachers had previously worked at the zoo and hoped to return to work there as head of reptiles one day.
We had 2x one hour ‘lectures’ on policies of the zoo, their conservation efforts, and engagement with the public. I don’t aspire to work in a zoo, but the engagement with the public and the work they did in foreign countries to reduce human-animal conflict was certainly interesting.
Our walk around the zoo was nice: it wasn’t very busy, it was cold but dry and we had four hours free. The task we had to complete was to look an enclosure of our chosen animal and use a DEFRA checklist to see if it met welfare standards, and to see how we might improve the enclosure if we were to design it. Obviously we spent most of our time looking around the zoo and not actually doing much work, but we did breifly discuss over lunch and agreed to change our animal from capybara to aardvark.
There was also a plastic mould of a Sun Bear skull, however there were two children interacting with the staff member at the table and time was quickly running out. So I let the chance go and visited more of the zoo before we returned to the coach.
P.S. The featured image is of a (later identified) White Naped Tit, we walked into the zoo next to the Painted Dog enclosure and he was lying right near the glass on the floor, so true to character the first animal picture I got at the zoo was of a dead one!