More than 150 students have completed placements at Northumberland College Zoo as they gain valuable work experience in preparation for their chosen careers.
The students, from across the college’s animal management courses, were assigned to one section this term – reptiles and aquatics, primates and small mammals, and paddocks, aviaries and exotic mammals – where they learned about health and safety, working safely with different species, captive diets and how to match animals to their habitats.
When they return in the New Year, the students will focus on animal enrichment and mental health as well as raising awareness and funds for a chosen charity.
Animal Management student, Rachel Railton, said: “The experience of working at the zoo is life-changing. You get to go through everything with the zoo keepers and learn a lot about the amazing animals who are housed here.
“I chose Northumberland College as there is nowhere else where you can get this amount of experience and the skills I am developing at the zoo are transferable for my future career plans. Every day is different which makes it fantastic.”
In the next section of rotation, move onto enrichment and how to conserve endangered species including working alongside an animal charity to raise funds and awareness.
Northumberland College Zoo is set in acres of beautiful countryside within a specialist animal management, land-based and outdoor campus at Kirkley Hall, and helps students develop their skills while giving them practical experience.
The zoo is home to 150 species of animals, from Shetland ponies and goats to more unusual mammals such as meerkats, wallabies, lemurs, civets, coatis and agoutis as well as tamarins, marmosets, monkeys, birds, reptiles, tarantulas and scorpions.
Steven Sykes, Resource Manager, said: “The industrial experience programme here at Northumberland College is an exciting and engaging way for our students to develop skills that they will take with them into future employment.
“Working alongside rare and endangered species not found in many other college collections helps the students stand out and suited to a wide range of animal careers.”
We are the largest further education provider in Northumberland with campuses throughout the county.
Our student transport scheme is available for eligible students to make getting to and from college as easy as possible.
Our extensive re-development programme will create outstanding new facilities.
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