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FERN DALEY

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HEAD KEEPER

For as long as I can remember I have had a passion for wildlife. My family and I have always had an array of pets, from Guinea pigs, Cats and Dogs to Ponies and Lizards. I was completely in awe of anyone that worked with animals especially zoo keepers, taking care of wonderful creatures of all shapes and sizes from all over the world. And loved the idea of caring for those creatures myself.

When I eventually turned 16 I went to Sparsholt College where I spent three years studying Animal Management and gained the knowledge and experience to care for all kinds of Animals. In that time I also volunteered at a Veterinary Hospital in Wickham and a small private animal collection in Gosport. Once I finished my course I moved home to the Isle of Wight and it wasn't too long before the chance to work at Seaview Wildlife Encounter came up.

Over the years working here I have had the chance to meet and work with wonderful and inspiring people with the same passion as myself.
Its a wonderfully, stressful, exciting, emotional and a hard working job and I love it.

WHAT DOES YOUR ROLE INVOLVE

I am responsible for the day-to-day care and welfare of animals at the park.

Its my job to assist the rest of the animal care team and make sure the animals have everything they need for a happy, healthy life. I spend a fair amount of time talking to visitors and delivering educational presentations.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE PARK

The Tropical House with the free flying birds and fountains. The lower lake with the waterfowl and the stunning weeping willows. And the view from the otters enclosure, where you can look across the park to the wildlife reserve and the sea.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ANIMAL AT THE PARK

It would be impossible to choose a favorite, the flamingos, pelicans and penguins, the cockroaches they are all amazing.

WHAT'S THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB

Being able to care for such a wide range of different animals in a beautiful location with an amazing group of people.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD KEEPER

A good keeper needs to be genuinely passionate, caring and knowledgeable about animals and their welfare, they need to be hard working, physically fit, and enthusiastic, able to communicate well with others and be confident with park visitors.

WHAT ARE YOUR INTERESTS OUTSIDE OF WORK

I love being outdoors, either walking or cycling. And enjoy visiting wildlife and zoological parks across the globe. My interests are always evolving and I enjoy developing my knowledge and experience within this field of work.

WHAT'S YOUR TOP TIP FOR VISITORS

Go to the wallaby and penguin feeds. Not only will we teach you all about them, you can even feed them their lunch. The wallabies enjoy the extra attention and the penguins love showing off to the visitors. Plus don't forget to grab a bag of grain when you arrive to feed the ducks, you'll gain some very cute little friends.