More about Ashleigh
After graduating from our BSc (Hons) Zoo Biology degree, Ashleigh went on to work as a Zoo Keeper and Animal Trainer within the Wild Connections department at Chessington World of Adventures Resort.
Here’s what she had to say about her time at NTU, getting into the zoo sector, and what her current job entails:
What is your current job role and what does it entail?
“I am currently working as a Zoo Keeper and Animal Trainer at Chessington World of Adventures within the Wild Connections Department. As part of this team, I’m responsible for the daily husbandry of over 20 animal species, including sea lions, parrots, and raccoons.
“My day consists of cleaning enclosures, preparing diets, record keeping, and enclosure redesign. Other duties include planning, evaluating and executing enrichment for the animals. I also deliver education and interactive animal presentations, shows, meet and greets, commercial activities, and memorable experiences to our Adventurers.
“Alongside this I spend time training our section's animals with positive reinforcement techniques for husbandry procedure, guest interactions and presentations.”
How did your time at NTU help you get where you are now?
“My studies at NTU gave me extensive theoretical zoo knowledge and a good level of understanding of animal behaviour and the care of animals. Furthermore, my placement year gave me practical experience working with a wide range of species which was fundamental to me obtaining a paid position.
“I also gained exceptional presentation skills and an enthusiasm and passion to interact with the public and educate them about animals and conservation. University also taught me efficient time management and organisation skills amongst other transferable skills.”
What would be your advice to future students looking to get into the zoo sector?
“Experience and networking are really important. In the animal sector, and especially the zoo world, it is just as much about who you know as what you know.”