00:00:00 My name is Chris K, I’m the Interpretation Officer here at Shepreth Wildlife Park and my job entitles me to go out and do the outreach to certain schools, give talks around the park about certain species of animals. Also I do the Keeper for the Day experience so anyone who goes out to meet the wolves or go in with the limas, it’s generally going to be me who’s going to be there accompanying them to do that. I’ve always wanted to be where I am now. I’ve known that since I was about four years old so I’m quite lucky in the respect that I’ve always had a certain goal and I’ve always wanted to achieve that.
00:00:34 Throughout school, you know, I was always known as, you know, the animal boy and things like that. But, of course, finishing my GSCEs I went to do A levels in biology, photography and geology and after that I pursued that and went for zoology at university as well. Within that there was at least 60, 70 odd modules on different aspects of, you know, animal life so although it was a lot of work towards the last two years, it was certainly well worth the work.
00:01:07 As soon as I got out of university I went straight over to Uganda and I was there for about six months teaching local school children. I was working with about 1,000 kids for about six months so, yeah, I haven’t gone straight into zoos. A lot of people who do work in zoos have always wanted to be a zoo keeper but for me I’ve always to be out in the wild and looking for the animals out there. To see just a fleeting glance of a very rare animal is very exciting.
00:01:32 And also, if you’re out in the wild you don’t know what you’re going to see. You know, you could be seeing almost anything. It’s the kind of aspect of viewing nature as nature intended essentially. From Uganda I realised how much people take things for granted here in England. So, to really to see how other people live was a fantastic experience as well. But out there I was really kind of doing a lot of education work, a lot of the kids I was working with had never even been to the forest even though they lived a few kilometres away from it.
00:01:59 It was a very enriching experience for both of us, you know, from both sides of the story and something I would love to do again. I’m certainly going to head back there in the near future. There’s a lot of competition to get into zoos, certainly. A lot of people want to work with animals. I’ve been, I’ve been quite lucky that I’ve been, you know, been able to go some very special places, you know, and work for very well known organisations. That’s certainly helped me a lot to get this job. You can’t just expect that you can go out and do your A levels and you’ll get a job doing what you want to do.
00:02:30 You know, you’ve got to really push a lot further than that, so it’s very difficult. In the near future I’d like to be 100 miles from anybody, completely alone in a rain forest, certainly. That is what I want to do with my life. I feel very peaceful, you know, out in the rain forests even though it’s such a noisy and strange place. I’d like to get involved in documentaries and things like that, either behind the camera or in front of it. At the moment I’m working on a project to go out to Brazil.
00:02:59 This place has given me connections to the World Land Trust which is a really good charity that actually buys rain forests so other people can’t essentially. They want a lot of nice photography work done for them and I said that I’ll do it for free and I’ll give them, you know, rights for the photography and stuff like that. So, I’m taking, you know, eight cameras and pretty much nothing else, really. I don’t even know if I’m going to have enough room for clothes. So, it’s going to be an exciting event, definitely. ENDS