Last year Riley McInerney completed a week of work experience with the Adelaide Zoo. This experience requires the student to write an application letter responding to a series of questions. Students are then selected based on their application letter. Riley was successful, please enjoy his experience.
I chose to apply for work experience at the zoo because this a particular field of work I am interested in as a future pathway. I was always interested by what goes on behind the scenes of the zoo and what it would be like to be a zookeeper and if this was the career path for me.
Throughout the week I participated in a range of activities that happened on a daily basis. Activities varied from cleaning out enclosures every morning and hand feeding some of the animals to sitting in the examination room watching the doctors cross foster baby brush tailed wallaby’s and helping to tranquilise two of the kangaroos. The day often started at 8:30am cleaning out the animals’ enclosures ready for the public at 10:30am. After this was finished we moved on to cleaning out food bowls and preparing food for the afternoon. At the end of the day I would go in the enclosure with the zookeepers and feed the animals.
My favourite activity was hand feeding all the animals at the end of each day; especially the giraffes and quokkas. I enjoyed cleaning the enclosures as in some enclosures the animals would stay in there with you and it was funny observing the strange things some of the animals did.
Being a zookeeper is definitely in my future pathway as I hope to go down the path of being an animal carer or an animal nutritionist when I leave high school.
There are many benefits of doing work experience. If you are not sure what happens at a place like the zoo and you want to find out more, work experience is the best way to find out if that is something you really want to do when you leave school. I would encourage work experience at the zoo if that is a field of work you are passionate about and it is something you wish to do in the future. It is a fantastic experience, you get to meet so many friendly people and they make your time at the zoo so much more enjoyable. By Riley McInerney