Animal Management: Why I Love It

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My name is Roberta Testori. I started at Bede's in September 2011 and I am currently studying towards a BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Animal Management along with my other A2 subjects.

I chose to study Animal management as I have a passion for wildlife and conservation and want the best for animal health and wellbeing. I want to further my education and work with animals in the future. Being able to have the practical hands on skills as well as the theory to enable me to do this was an amazing opportunity and has made me decide that I want to study Veterinary Nursing in the future.

Animal Management opens many doors for future Veterinarians, Veterinary Nurses, Zoo Keepers, Animal Biologist, Zoologists, Conservationists and Wildlife Photographers. The course is based on coursework assignments and allows you to understand more about the animals in depth. 

We have covered the biological sides as well as their health and welfare in these projects, and legislation and husbandry are also major parts of the assignments. Each assignment is on a different topic and will be interesting if you enjoy the care, health and welfare of the animals.

There are two brilliant teachers who teach us everything we need to know for the course, Mr. Juniper and Mr. Jones. They guide you and are there if you need help with any of the assignment work.

The advantage that Bede's Senior School has is that the Animal Management department has its own centre full of animals. This allows students to have hands on practical skills learning about the different species that the centre contains.

P1060321We also keep creatures which are classified as endangered species.

Animal Management also runs an activity during the week called Zoological Society which I also take part in, where we clean, feed and carry out health checks on all the animals, which include Tenrecs, Royal Pythons, Turkish Spiny Mice and Butterfly Goodeids, the last two species we breed as part of coordinated breeding programmes as they are extinct in the wild.

Being able to work with these different species has made me more confident working with different species of animals, in terms of how to handle them and care for them. Already this has a really positive effect on most of the students taking this subject.

Being able to work with these animals not only in the activities but during lessons in which an assignment is set to plan and prepare and make changes to an animal enclosure is an amazing experience as I was able to plan and design useful enrichment to add to stimulate the animals and make them use more of their enclosure.

Taking this as an AS and A2 subject was the best choice and has enabled me to travel and see more of the UK and the animal collections. The Animal Management U6 group have been to ZSL London Zoo, Marwell Wildlife in Hampshire, Drusillas Zoo, RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, The Highland Wildlife Park and many more. This allows us to see other collections and evaluate them by making recommendations to improve what we have seen.

Last summer as part of the double Animal Management course we had to do a 2 week work experience in a Zoo. Drusillas Zoo was kind and they took all the students who took double Animal Management and we worked alongside a keeper who showed us how to work with different species in their collection. This was an amazing experience and opportunity, and I am currently volunteering at Drusillas Zoo every other Sunday. This has furthered my experience gaining me more practical knowledge about different species both in captivity and in conservation.

Anyone who is interested and keen about the care of animals would be suited for this course. It offers so many opportunities and widens your experiences significantly, is interesting, stimulating and above all else it is extraordinarily fun!

Roberta Testori

Upper Sixth, Animal Management

The photos accompanying this article were taken by Roberta during a recent trip to Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife park.

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