Posted on 27th March 2019 by Media Relations
Ever wondered what it is like to work at a zoo? What goes on behind the scenes?
Taronga Zoo Sydney and Dubbo is home to more than 5000 animals, some of which require round-the-clock care. From keepers and scientists, to vets and horticultural experts, every Taronga staff member plays an important role in ensuring these animals live healthy, happy lives – and that endangered species in the wild have a chance at survival. It’s exciting, challenging and often surprising work, but one thing is for sure – working at Taronga Zoo is more than just a job.
Our captivating new podcast series, Taronga Talks, introduces you to the dedicated people behind this vital work. From Sydney to Dubbo, Taronga’s staff all have amazing untold Zoo stories. Stories that will touch your heart, enrich your mind and open your eyes.
In episode 1, you’ll meet Carnivore Unit Supervisor Louise Ginman. Just 10 days after starting at Taronga, Louise first experienced the joy of welcoming Sumatran Tiger cubs to the world. Twenty-five years later, she is raising cubs again – this time Red Panda and Sumatran Tiger triplets. With less than 50 breeding pairs of Sumatran Tigers left in the wild, Louise’s work breeding and caring for this critically endangered species is more important than ever.
You will also hear how a love of birds of prey motivated Matt Kettle, supervisor of Taronga’s Bird Show, to move to Sydney for a role at Taronga, and why protecting and caring for injured wildlife became Wildlife Hospital Manager Libby Hall’s life calling. Keeper Paul Davies reveals the secrets of Taronga’s Nocturnal House, while ecologist Andrew Elphinstone discusses what it is going to take to save our endangered species.
Taronga Talks host Hayden Turner, a former zookeeper and an experienced National Geographic TV presenter, has reported from some of the wildest and most scenic places on earth. His love of wildlife runs deep and his ties to Taronga extend back nearly 30 years, when he first began work as a zoo keeper.
Hayden eventually left Sydney to become a safari guide and TV presenter in Africa, returning to Taronga in 2016. Today, he is Taronga Zoo Sydney’s Manager of Guest Experience, People and Programs, a role that allows him to do what he loves most – connecting people to wildlife.
“The most effective approach to conservation is through education, technology and inspiring people to care for the planet,” he says. “Taronga’s role in conservation is to create direct and positive connections between wildlife and people. Through our efforts we protect endangered species, increase understanding of wildlife around the world and inspire community action.”
Each Taronga Talk story is unique, but a common thread of passion and devotion to creatures great and small runs through them all.
You can listen to all our Taronga Talks episodes here.