As part of our series of Keeper Chats for our blog, we caught up with Keeper, Andrew, to find out a little bit more about life for the humans of Project Elephant.
The Sensible One:
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and your career so far?
I’ve been in the zoo industry for 20 years. After working at a few other collections, I came to Blackpool where I have worked for about 10 years. Over the years I have worked with a large variety of animals before being a part of the team at Project Elephant.
Have you always known you wanted to be a zoo keeper?
Originally, I wanted to work for the RSPCA. It wasn’t until I went to college that my eyes were opened to different job possibilities and zoo keeping was one of them, which soon became my passion.
What advice would you give to an aspiring zoo keeper?
I would say to try all different areas and work with as many different species as you can to begin with to give yourself experience. Say yes to every opportunity.
What’s your favourite thing about Project Elephant Base Camp?
My favourite thing about Project Elephant Base Camp is having that close working relationship with the herd.
We know the day of a keeper at Base Camp is very busy and varied – but what is your favourite part of the day?
I just love training the elephants and spending that time with each of them.
Obviously, you know our elephants better than most, what’s your favourite characteristic of one of our herd?
I have to say I’ve really enjoyed witnessing just how adaptable Kate has been and how well she’s transitioned from her original house to this new facility. Watching just how well she has adapted with a new herd and, on top of that, with a bull elephant as well! I have loved being a part of it.
When you’re not looking after our herd, what else do you like to do with your time?
In my spare time I enjoy going to watch the British touring cars racing. I also enjoy watching Portsmouth FC play and keenly follow American football.