ROLE: HEAD KEEPER (Since 2016)
FAVOURITE ANIMAL: WHALE
How did your animal career begin?
My first experience of working with Animals began when I was studying Animal Care at the Isle of Wight College and secured a work experience placement at the Rare Breeds Park on the Island. My love for working so closely with a range of animals from mischievous Meerkats to hand rearing a Soay Lamb grew and I knew then that working with these amazing animals in the outdoors was what I wanted to do!
After completing BSc Animal Science degree at Plymouth University, I then came back to the Island and was fortunate enough to become a Keeper at Seaview Wildlife Encounter, a family run wildlife park home to Wallabies, Penguins, Pelicans, and lots of free roaming Ducks! I continued to grow my love for wildlife and animals here for 10 years until unfortunately the park closed it doors for good.
Although this was deeply saddening for the Keepers and all the visitors, all was not lost and thankfully this is where our Tapnell Farm Park journey began in 2016!
Some of the animals including the Wallabies, Meerkats, Donkeys, Baby doll Sheep, Pot Bellied Pigs and Alpacas were rehomed here at Tapnell Farm and I was over the moon when I was offered the chance to continue my role as Head Keeper and have a part in developing the Farm Park into a family friendly attraction as it is today!
What does your role involve?
As Head Keeper, I am responsible for the overall care of the Animals we look after as well as the amazing team of animal Keepers we have here! My role also involves the task of keeping animal health records up to date, providing health care plans for all the animals as well as all the paperwork that comes with having a Zoo Licence!
What’s your favourite Part about working at Tapnell Farm as an Animal Keeper?
My favourite part about being an animal Keeper is simply having the chance to look after such amazing animals which rely on us to provide them with the daily care that they need. All our animals are extremely friendly and love the interaction with people particularly our Goats, which makes our job so entertaining, enjoyable, and worthwhile!