Hi my name is Gemma and I am a volunteer keeper. Not only do I get to come to the zoo whenever I want, but I get to make a difference in the day of the animals at the zoo.
Being a volunteer is a highly rewarding experience, and it is definitely one of the best things I have done in Dubbo. I haven't been in Dubbo too long, and I found that volunteering provided me with the opportunity to talk to like minded people including zoo keepers, other volunteers, and even visitors.
Volunteering not only gets you closer to the animals it also gives you the opportunity to have once in a lifetime opportunities. As a volunteer keeper my role is to prepare food for some of the animals in the zoo, by cutting up and weighing fruit and vegetables. These animals include the Meerkats, Echidnas, birds, snakes, lizards and possum. This is a very important role as the diets of these animals determines part of their health.
After the food preparation, it’s time to clean up the kitchen and head outside. Outside in the old children’s zoo area paths and some enclosures are raked. This is a great time to check out the animals and get to know what they get up to during the morning. I also sometimes help with checking the animals first thing in the morning, and changing the browse in the education enclosures. I have even done one of the keeper talks for the Meerkats!
This keeps me busy for about two to three hours, and before I know it my duty is done. I have just finished my training to become a full fledged volunteer and help out with early morning walks, spot guiding, and meeting and greeting visitors. I can't wait to spend even more time at the zoo!