John: Curator of Animals
Meet John, he heads up the animal department and is the one responsible for the some of the unique and endangered animals that we have here at Newquay Zoo.
Curator of Animals
What is your favourite animal?
I don’t have one particularly, but I am fond of black wilderbeest and blue crowned hanging parrots. Oh, and armadillos - I love those as well.
What is the best part of your job?
Actually the best part of my job is when you breed young animals and you send them off to other collections and you hear that they’ve bred. So you know you’ve perpetuated the species to go on to become successful.
If you could be any zoo animal what would you be?
I kind of like armadillos, really because they really don’t care. They get on with their lives, get their heads down, snuffle away, eat lots, sleep a lot, don’t like the cold and they don’t seem to have any worries. I kind of like that!
Why did you become a zookeeper?
I decided when I was 8 years old that that’s what I was going to do, after reading Doctor Doolittle. I got the book and read it overnight - didn’t sleep at all! As soon as I started reading it I couldn’t stop. I thought, these animals are amazing! I told my mother the next day that I was going to be a zoo keeper and that was it, I never changed my mind.
Do you have any interesting pets?
Yes, I have fish, tropical fish. I have a ridiculous parrot that looks scruffy, a couple of tortoises and a dog. That’s all I want because I work with animals all day long and that’s about as much as I can muster really!
What is the best thing about working at Newquay Zoo?
I like the community really. I say this to the staff a lot. You have to remember that you’re working in a Zoo and living in Cornwall. Both of those things are fantastic, and the combination of the two are unbeatable. I have rarely met anybody that works in a Zoo that would not come back.
How long have you been a zookeeper for?
I'm 50 now, so work that out. 32 and half years I guess you could say.
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