Jack – TY Student

My time in The National Reptile Zoo has truly been one of the highlights of my Transition Year. When I arrived on my first day I was greeted with nothing but kindness and treated with respect. Since the beginning I had constantly been learning about each of the many animals in the zoo and how to care for them whether it be their diet, habitat or even how warm their exhibit should be.

Plated Lizard - JackTY

I was introduced to not only care for the animals but respect them as well. While they are amazing creatures, each one of them deserves respect, as mishandling or mistreating even the smallest of animals endangers not only them but yourself. I also learned that many retiles are quite intelligent animals. Their intelligence allows them to be tested with enrichment games and puzzles, such as the keepers hiding some food in different areas of the exhibit or rewarding the animal if it went to a certain area when its door was opened.

Bird Eating Tarantula - JackTY

When working in a place like this it’s hard to pick just one moment to pick as my favourite. I could say getting to go into the alligator pond and clean while they stared at me, feeding animals like the Dwarf Caiman or the Burmese Python. Holding a Chillian Rose Tarantula or Emperor Scorpion or even having Asian Water Monitors and Green Iguanas climb onto me because I look comfy. There are just too many to choose. So I pick all of them.

The staff are the friendliest people I have ever met. They’re so fun to work with! Each day just seemed more enjoyable the better I got to know them all. I’ve met people from Denmark, Holland, Spain, and France who, just as I did, came to learn and enjoyed themselves doing it.

Alligators - JackTY

I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every day of my experience at The National Reptile Zoo and I can say that, not only have I left with new knowledge and memories under my belt, but friends that have made it all worthwhile.

Jack came to the zoo as part of out Transition Year work experience placement scheme. If you would like to know more about this you can click here.

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