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CHARLOTTE ROBERTSON

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ANIMAL KEEPER

It has always been my dream to work with and care for animals! I often visited zoos and animal collections when I was little and have always had a huge passion for animals and wildlife in general.

While doing my GCSE's I completed a level 2 Animal Care course then straight away went on to do a level 3 Animal Management course at the Isle of Wight College. During this time I took part in volunteering at a wide range of animal sectors including a zoo, aquarium, farm, dog groomers and the RSPCA.

After finishing college I went on to volunteer once a week here at Seaview Wildlife Encounter. It soon became the highlight of my week and I was hoping a job position would arise. Luckily for me, I was offered a job a few months into volunteering and love every minute of it!

In addition to my love for the animals at the park, I am also passionate about marine mammals which encouraged me to become a member of British Divers Marine Life Rescue, along with becoming a qualified scuba diver. Both these experiences have enabled me to take part in the conservation of these wonderful animals and to see for myself how beautiful and playful wild seals can be!

WHAT DOES YOUR ROLE INVOLVE

As an animal keeper I deal with the day to day care of the animals by cleaning, feeding, grooming and health checking them. I also administer medication, perform animal presentations to the public and provide enrichment to the animals.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE PARK AND WHY

My favourite part of the park is at Otter Creek where you can look down to the lower lake at all the ducks, weeping willows and over the sea.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ANIMAL OR BIRD AT THE PARK AND WHY

It's impossible to have one favourite animal at the park as there are so many unique, loveable and cheeky personalities to make your day!

WHAT'S THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB

The best part of my job to me is spending time with all the animals, watching and learning how they react to different objects of enrichment. I also love helping people get over their fears of holding a cockroach!

WHAT MAKES A GOOD KEEPER

To be a good keeper you have to have genuine enthusiasm and passion for wildlife! It is also necessary to enjoy getting stuck in to hard work and not be afraid to get mucky or bitten on a daily basis. You also need to feel comfortable talking to members of the public.

WHAT ARE YOUR INTERESTS OUTSIDE OF WORK

I enjoy reading along with spending time outside while walking, swimming, snorkelling, diving and kayaking. I also love wildlife conservation, expanding my knowledge on animals and visiting other animal parks.

WHAT'S YOUR TOP TIP FOR VISITORS

Make sure you take part in feeding the penguins and wallabies! Take some time to visit our sheep Daisy and Maisy for a cuddle and don't forget to buy lots of bags of duck food so you have something to feed the hundreds of hungry mouths that will be following you round all day!