Animal Management: ABWAK Symposium 2014

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Ten of Bede's Animal Management students recently spent a weekend at Chester Zoo, arguably one of the best in the UK, stepping behind the scenes, enjoying reunions with elephants and taking part in some aspects of the ABWAK symposium.

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Time restrictions prevented their full attendance at the annual symposium of the Association of British and Irish Wild Animal Keepers (ABWAK) but on arrival they were treated to a grand tour of the zoo, during which Mr Juniper was reunited with some of the elephants he cared for 15 years ago (Did they really remember him or was it the carrots that he carried?).

3At the Association's formal dinner that evening, our Sixth Formers met some of the other 170 delegates from all over the UK and also won prizes in the raffle.

Mr Juniper organised, too, the overnight stay in a spotless Premier Inn, with the added bonus of an eat-all-you-can breakfast the following morning!

He was ably assisted throughout by Mr Jones who acted as the minibus chauffeur.

Chester zoo's mission statement is "to be a major force in conserving biodiversity worldwide" and they're doing exactly what they say on their billboards.

Our students were delighted to play a small part.

Anthony Hepworth Taylor

Animal Management Technician