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Keeper Brad and Franklin

Brad McKenzie has worked as a keeper and animal trainer at Taronga Zoo for the past five years. Previous to this he spent 10 years working in Queensland predominantly with Marine Mammals but also with fish, reptiles and amphibians.

So far Brad has been fortunate enough to work with wild threatened populations of Grey Nurse Sharks and the endangered Australian Sea lion colonies that are at risk of extinction from fishery by-catch. Assisting with these studies and involvement in rescue, recovery and release of sick and injured wildlife are causes that Brad is most passionate about.

Brad says the challenge of animal training  and being able to learn from the animals you work with everyday which often benefits those in the wild is an added bonus as well. Being able to establish a rapport with each individual and then building that one on one relationship is most rewarding.

“I love what I do for a living and being able to work with liked minded people who are just as passionate as I am is fantastic. Every day you learn from both the animals and staff to be able to pass this onto Zoo visitors is an amazing experience.”