Tanya Jacob, Head Keeper at Tropical World has an opportunity on a daily basis to engage with a range of interesting wildlife and I was curious what a day in the life of Headkeeper was like.
A Day In The Life Of Head Keeper At Tropical World, Donegal
Tanya describes her role which begins; “In the morning I walk around the grounds and make sure all the animals are alright, go to the kitchen and prepare food for feeding. Pens are then cleaned out and at 12.30pm I prepare a handling session for visitors”. I was slightly envious when I learnt about enrichment. Tanya describes enrichment as “The most interesting and fun part”. Enrichment is a term used to describe a process to engage with and challenge animals so “they don’t get bored”
They are like our family we take the time to look after them and entertain them
Following enrichment, at 3.30pm there is the final handling session, and the process begins to “settle animals down for the night followed by a final check and where possible squeeze in paperwork”. “Working here you get to understand the personalities of each animal for which there are many, they are Like our Family”.
You can see Rickey pictured above huddled with his family, Tanya explains how he was “one of the first animals we had and he is a real pet”. On your visit you will notice animals have been assigned quirky and fun names from Snowy the Barn Owl to Gorden the Great Grey Owl.
The Zoo was very excited to welcome a wonderful gift at Christmas, a baby Geoffrey marmoset appropriately called Nicholas. Your heart will melt when you see this little family of marmosets, pictured above.
Getting Close To Nature At Tropical World, Donegal
You will have the opportunity during your visit to both handle and learn about some of the fascinating creatures at Tropical World. Making my way for a handling session at 3.30pm and I met Sarah, a beautiful corn snake, a native of North America, pictured above. Feeling slightly nervous, Tanya gently places Sarah around my neck. I support the snake and immediately you will notice how smooth she feels not at all like some dramatic movie references of snakes being slimy to touch. Meanwhile Tanya discusses the breed of snake, its habitat and diet.
Tropical World, Donegal: A Place For All The Family
Aside from the buzz of engaging with wildlife, Tropical World is 70% undercover, which is perfect for those occasional rainy days in Donegal. Tropical World provides plenty of cover from the rain which is ideal for children of all ages. There is lots of safe and fun areas for children to roam from a large padded play area, pictured above, monkey swing play area and dens to explore and discover. With optional picnic areas inside and outside, a restaurant and refreshment area on site, you won’t go hungry or thirsty! A selection of cuddly animal toys and gifts are also available to purchase on site.
An ever expanding, diverse and engaging environment Tropical World will remain a must see for all those seeking to have fun and learn.Tropical World