Ryan Tate: Supervisor Marine Mammals, Taronga Zoo

Ryan Tate has been a Marine Mammals keeper and animal trainer at Taronga Zoo for the last eight years. Prior to this he completed a degree in Marine Science before doing some exchange work in Fiji studying tropical ecosystems. 

Although Ryan has worked for years training animals such as dogs and birds, his real passion is working with marine wildlife.  Starting out at Taronga as a volunteer at Marine Mammals and the Bird Show, Ryan quickly realised this was the perfect job for him. He recalls his first day as a volunteer when he went for a swim with some seals and was blown away by the experience, 10 years later he’s still just as excited to interact with the seals and penguins in their environment no matter how cold the water is.

Presenting the seal show on a daily basis is a small part of Ryan’s job. Behind the scenes there is a lot of hard work in building relationships with each individual. In addition to this, countless hours of time are spent rehabilitating sick, injured and often severely malnourished seals that arrive at the zoo and can no longer be returned to the wild, such as Franklin a rare Sub-Antarctic Fur Seal.  

“I’m very passionate about our oceans and sustainable seafood. I like being able to educate people on the complexities of the marine environment and what we can do to ensure it stays the same for future generations.”