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Discover more with ‘science behind the zoo’

Date: 25 Feb 2019

Discover more with ‘science behind the zoo’

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a zookeeper, you’ll not want to miss our ‘Science Behind the Zoo’ event taking place on Saturday 23 March.

As part of the NI Science Festival programme of events, we are inviting teenagers to find out more about the varied career paths and opportunities available within the field of animal care, welfare and conservation.

The event will give young people, aged 15-18, an insight into working life at the zoo, with a behind-the-scenes look at being a zookeeper. The one-day event gives participants the chance to meet zoo educators, curators and veterinary staff through a combination of classroom learning, hands-on experience and behind-the-scenes activity.

John Fisher, Education Officer, said: “Over 90% of Belfast Zoo’s animal care team are qualified in animal care, health, behaviour and nutrition so it is an extremely varied area of work. This is a great opportunity for young people – particularly those who may be interested in a career in animal care – to get an invaluable insight into the workings of a zoo.”

We first introduced this event in 2018 as part of NI Science Festival, resulting in two booked out dates and a waiting list of around 50 people.

John continued: “We are delighted to be hosting this event once again. A zoo is a fantastic place to work and we are looking forward to engaging with the next generation of zoologists and conservationists during this exciting and unique event. Many young people struggle with the difficult decision of choosing a suitable career path, however this event is designed to make that choice a little easier.”

He added: “The survival of many species is becoming increasingly dependent on the sustainability of zoo populations and breeding programmes. Belfast Zoo takes part in more than 60 global and collaborative breeding programmes, several of which are managed by our own staff.  The key to wildlife conservation is science and, to ensure successful breeding, we rely on the knowledge and skills of keepers and the veterinary team to ensure that the animals are healthy, happy and to allow us to adequately understand the behaviours of different species.  As the only zoo in Northern Ireland, we feel it is not only our responsibility to give young people the tools and knowledge to begin their career in this field but we also hope that this event will inspire a lifelong passion for wildlife and conservation.”

To find out more about our ‘science behind the zoo’ sessions and to download booking forms****, visit www.belfastzoo.co.uk/events, email education@belfastzoo.co.uk or call 028 9077 6277 extension 204