Work Experience at Taronga Zoo: A Reflection
I found the experience of working at Taronga Zoo, Sydney very educational and fun. It wasn't all fun though as I had to do lots of dishes, cleaning, and preparing food. There were other kids doing work experience at Taronga as well, some who also came from Victoria.
When I applied, I had to choose a division of the zoo that I wanted to work in. There were 5 or 6 different divisions that I could choose from such as exotic animals, birds, marine, reptiles, and Australian mammals. The divisions I chose to do were marine and birds. I got birds, which I was very happy about.
I found working with birds very different from what I thought it would be like. I thought that there would be less work with birds and around 10 zookeepers working in the bird division. I was very wrong. There were hundreds of birds that needed particular requirements and A LOT of staff to attend to those requirements. The jobs that the staff had me doing weren’t too different to what they were doing, such as cleaning / repairing habitats, preparing food, feeding, and helping with the bird shows.
One of the things that I found most interesting was the food prep. I found food prep interesting because, to my surprise, not all birds eat bird seed. Most of the diets consist of fruit, vegetables, small mammals, maggots, and crickets. What shocked me the most was that they gave some birds shell grit - made up of small, crushed up shells - to supplement them with minerals and calcium.
The journey to and from work added to my experience since I caught the ferry every day and got to live in Sydney City. Overall, I learned a lot, made new friends, and most importantly, had fun. I give my experience a 9/10.