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SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium

23 Tamaki Drive, Ōrākei

Auckland 1071

New Zealand

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Regular days of operation: Thursday - Monday Bookings are essential - purchase your tickets online 24 hours in advance with a discount of 20%!
SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium

Meet the Keeper

Junior Penguin Keeper

14 Sep 2020 13:16:35

Meet Sam

Q: How did you get this job?

A: I applied for this job through Seek, as I was looking for a part time job whilst I was studying my Bachelor of Science. I was lucky enough to get an interview and then be accepted for the position, which I honestly didn’t think was going to happen as I hadn’t had any animal experience previously.

Q: When did you realised you want to work with animals?

A: – I grew up having large dogs as pets and have had a love for the water since birth. Naturally, I combined my two loves, water and animals, to go on and study marine science and biological sciences where I further solidified my realisation of wanting to work with animals as a career.

Q: What's your daily routine like?
A: Being a part timer who only works weekends I spend the beginning of my day getting caught up on the events throughout the week. I then continue on with the day as normal – cleaning in the morning, and feeding and observing throughout the rest of the day.         

Q: Does being a penguin keeper put you off having fish?
A: When you first start out working as a penguin keeper the smell of fish and the daily handling of the whole fish can hit you quite hard. However, I have been working here for almost 2 years and you get used to the smell of fish everyday so it doesn’t put me off eating it – I still eat it as often as I did before getting this job.

Q: How do you remember all the penguin's names?
A: Penguins naturally look very similar to one another – same colourings with slight variations to their freckle patterns – so when you first start out it can be quite different to pick individuals out of the colony. However, the more time you spend out in the enclosure the more you pick up on all of their individual characteristics and traits, and get to know them on a more personal level. They also have identification bands on their flippers which help us to identify each individual bird by basically memorising their ID numbers, which correspond to specific colours on their flippers.




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