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Hi there, my name’s Zoe and I’m the marketing assistant at Newquay Zoo. With summer coming to an end, I thought I’d introduce you to some of our key staff members here at the Zoo. This first article will give you an insight into a day in the life of one of our presenters, Alex Dyson; otherwise known as ‘the funny man who tells you all about our animals’.

Most important question first…. Tea or Coffee?

I only really drink mint tea, or black coffee.. I’ll think ill go for a mint tea today please mate

Sugar?

Definitely not in tea, but two if I have coffee

Perfect biscuit accompaniment?

Oreos… Duh

So Alex, what time do you start work?

I usually arrive at 10 ready to start at 10:15

And can you tell me what a normal day is like for you? What do you do?

First of all, I’ll check in with the keepers for any updates on the animal sections. The keepers and I will decide what we’re going to do for the ‘Keepers Choice’ talk for the day and I’ll check whether we have anyone coming in for an experience day. I’ll also make sure the food is prepared for the morning talks. After this, I head up to the Education Office, dump my bag, and check my emails. As well as the talks I also look after the Education Department animals and spend time researching and developing new activities and games for our visitors.

Do you have a lot of interaction with animals?

Not particularly, thats a keepers job really.  I am able to feed the animals myself at a few of the talks, like the meerkats, but its not about me really, it’s about how I can provide opportunities for the public, getting them involved and allowing them to ‘get closer’

A lot of people love our junior keeper experience - can you explain to me a bit more about it?

Junior keeper is an experience which children aged 8-14 can do at the Zoo. It’s an experience that can be bought for £70. It costs £70 and it allows children to go behind the scenes and see what life at the zoo is all about. The kids get to see our animals up close and get involved in the feeds and talks. Adults can book a similar experience to get a taste of what its like to be a keeper, including shovelling poo. I think the kids get the best deal here!!!

What is your favourite animal? Think big, it doesn’t have to be something we have here at the Zoo.

Definitely grizzly bears. They’re just like me, they hibernate in winter and they love salmon.

I know what I love about my job but, what do you love about your job?

I love the environment that I work in, I mean it’s a Zoo! Animals and conservation have always been a big part of my life and I find working here with the animals, and of course the people, very therapeutic. It doesn’t really feel like work, because it’s my passion, it’s really good fun.

Is there anything you don’t like about this job?

I don’t really like cleaning the cockroaches out, they smell a bit. But it’s necessary and they love a good clean vivarium. 

If there was one animal you could have in the Zoo, what would it be?

It’s got to be a snow leopard. They’re so rare and so beautiful, that’s really impractical though. I do love birds of prey, bald eagles or things we could work with. I used to do falconry and that would really interest me.

And unfortunately this is when the cups of tea were drunk and all the biscuits had run out… until next time! If you have any more questions you’d like answered about our funny bearded man Alex, or anything that was mentioned in this article, please get in touch with me at [email protected]

Quotes Throughly enjoyed our visit to Newquay zoo, there was plenty to see! Quotes