Animal Keeper Placement - Living Collections Placement

The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

WWT Washington, Tyne and Wear

Volunteer • Full Time [email protected] 07584171420 Amy Hannan

Sectors: conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Monday, 21st December 2020  

Why do we need you?

At WWT we shape unforgettable experiences. We believe the best way for people to understand and connect to wetlands is to experience them, so we bring awe-inspiring nature up close and let it do the talking.

We are looking to recruit volunteers for a 6 to 12 month period for 4 / 5 days a week. These placements will help the Living Collections team. These are great opportunities for people looking to gain or build animal care experience, or looking to get stuck in to outdoor work with animals.

We are involved in maintaining and developing exhibits within the site at Washington in order to improve welfare standards for our animals, and enhance the visitor experience. We have a large collection of rare and endangered species from around the world, including Eurasian Cranes, Chilean Flamingos and Asian Short Clawed Otters which you will be heavily involved in caring for.

The practical experience and knowledge gained in a placement here at Washington would be invaluable for any animal or conservation based career in the future. Many of our volunteers have gone on to work in this field, within collections, on wild reserves and in conservation projects around the world.

With a wealth of experience and proven track record in scientific research, we create and conserve wetlands and save species. We provide wetland conservation solutions that work in today’s society, sustaining both wildlife and people.

Who will be responsible for your role? Senior Collection Keeper (overseen by the Grounds and Facilities Manager)

Where will you be based? Washington grounds

How much time will it take? 4-5 days per week 8.30am – 4.30/5.30pm (Seasonal) with a commitment to a minimum of a 6 month period in order to get the most benefit from your placement. This can be done as part of a course between years.

What will you be doing?

  • Daily feed preparation, routines and creating animal enrichment. 
  • Cleaning animal rearing facilities, equipment, flamingo and otter housing, ponds and exhibits and ensuring they are in good repair 
  • Undertaking animal census and recording of daily routines
  • Vegetation management within exhibits and public areas 
  • Pond maintenance 
  • Working as part of the centre opening/closing team undertaking tasks to ensure the site is ready for visitors on opening and cleared of visitors on closing (electric fence maintenance) 
  • Conducting public feeds and talks, occasional guided tours and more seasonal / ad hoc talks. 
  • Maintaining and improving exhibit fence lines 
  • Assisting with animal handling and bi-annual health checks 
  • Helping to manage the breeding season within a controlled breeding plan – nest box management, incubator operation and hand rearing animals. 
  • The job is varied, there are many seasonal / occasional tasks such as building shelters and nest boxes, building new enclosures or ponds and any other large team projects. 
  • Record keeping and animal health and welfare reporting 
  • Assisting with pest management protocols and camera trap data

Who are we looking for?

  • Some practical experience in animal care would be desirable 
  • Able to follow instructions and safely complete activities alone or as part of a team 
  • Good people skills 
  • Exhibit a can do, enthusiastic attitude to your work 
  • Ideally someone who has studied or is studying a relevant subject. 
  • Public speaking skills desirable 
  • Physical fitness and the ability to lift heavy loads 
  • Ability to work outdoors in all weather 
  • Driving licence would be advantageous 
  • You need to be over 18 years to carry out this role.

How will you benefit?

  • This is an excellent opportunity to work within an internationally important wetland site. 
  • Gaining invaluable animal husbandry knowledge and hands on experience 
  • Working in the fresh air with friendly, like-minded people. 
  • Exercise and all-round fitness 
  • You will be able to become part of the small but friendly grounds team 
  • Training in use of tools, maintenance vehicles, animal care/handling and safe working practices on site 
  • You will be involved in the workings of this centre and will therefore be able to take up any opportunities that become available 
  • Discount is available in the cafe and shop for all volunteers on the day they volunteer 
  • Free entry to all WWT wetland centres throughout the UK on presentation of your WWT name badge

Please mention when responding to this ad.