Many children dream of working with animals when they grow up, and for Emma, there was never any other career choice.
“I’ve always loved animals since I was little,” Emma said.
“From a young age, I was always fascinated by them and they always made me incredibly happy so being a keeper was the dream job.”
That dream became a reality for Emma, who has been working as a keeper at Adelaide Zoo for almost 10 years ago.
“I get to work with beautiful animals every day and they have given me so much so it’s rewarding to be able to contribute to their conservation and help them stay around for a lot longer in the future,” Emma said.
“There are a lot of parts to my job that I absolutely love but I guess my favourite part is getting to be up close every day to beautiful animals.
“Being part of their everyday lives is really special.”
For the past four years, Emma has worked in the bird department, helping to care for the more than 100 different species of birds that call Adelaide Zoo home.
“Birds are one of my favourite animals. I fell in love with them when I started working with them here at the zoo,” Emma said.
“There’s so many different species to work with, and I love their personalities and all their different characteristics.”
Being able to contribute to vital conservation programs working to secure a future for species like the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot is also another highlight of her work as a keeper.
With less than 14 Orange-bellied Parrots estimated to be left in the wild, Adelaide Zoo is playing a key role in the recovery of this species through our captive breeding program.
As a conservation charity, Zoos SA is proud to be one of eleven organisations involved in a national collaborative program to help ensure the species does not become extinct in the wild, and Emma has been working closely on this program for almost five years – monitoring breeding pairs and chicks closely.
“Being a keeper gives me the opportunity to work closely on some great conservation programs with a lot of endangered birds here at Adelaide Zoo,” Emma said.
“I just can’t imagine a world without these beautiful animals.
“Being able to do my part to secure their future through my role at Adelaide Zoo is an incredibly rewarding part of the job.
“The plight of the Orange-bellied Parrot is close to my heart and the whole team in the bird department at Adelaide Zoo will be doing everything in our power to make sure this amazing bird doesn’t become extinct in the wild.”
Love the zoo? Read how Monarto Zoo Natives Keeper Simon is helping to secure a future for some of Australia’s most endangered animals here.