Published: Wednesday, 11 May 2016 10:49
Shauna McBride Zurich Zoo Work Experience photo album
As I have a great interest in studying zoology in college, I really wanted to do a work experience that would give me a greater insight into what this will entail. I speak quite good Swiss-German since my mother is Swiss, so I decided to do my placement at Zurich Zoo. My grandparents live quite close to the zoo, which worked out very well for me and it was very nice to spend time with them too. I did two weeks of work experience there. The animals I took care of every day were the llamas, alpacas, vicunas, guanacos, South American chickens, harvest mice, Darwin's rhea, European fish-otters and seals. One day I also got to feed the tiger because I ran into the tiger carer and he offered.
I worked a 10 hour day from 7am until around 5pm. I didn't mind though because I loved it so much. I fed the animals and cleaned their pens in the morning and the afternoon. I collected the turquoise eggs from the hen-house. I caught live fish for the otters and I walked the llamas around the zoo because they had to lose weight. I had a tour of the zoo and got to visit areas that are out of bounds to volunteers, and saw the monkeys, the elephants and the big cats. But the real highlight were the seals. I had to do shows for the public twice a day with the seals. I had to let the seals get used to my touch and do some tricks with them, rewarding them with fish, of course! This is done so that if ever a seal gets sick and needs the vet, they will already be used to human contact. Altogether I had an absolutely amazing time and didn't want to leave! I can't wait to work in this area in the future.