One might think that being an animal carer at a Zoo or Animal Sanctuary is just a matter of handling animals and feeding them. That isn’t so – there is more to it!
At the Port Moresby Nature Park, wildlife carers go through some serious training and learning sessions through its annual internship program in order to earn their place as a wildlife carer.
This quarter, the Park has selected another three interns from various tertiary institutions to be part of its wildlife internship program. An all-female team, Daniella Kapi, Esther Hulum and Christobeth Audubo will undergo the internship program for 12 weeks under the guidance of Wildlife Manager, Ishimu Bebe.
“We are happy to have another group of interns join us as we advocate for more young leaders to take up roles that would help protect our endemic wildlife”, said Ishimu Bebe, Port Moresby Nature Park’s Wildlife Manager.
“These three interns will be placed in three rounds where they care for mammals, birds and assist in food preparations for the animals. Internship programs are one of the best ways to experience what it is like to be a wildlife carer and it’s always fully supported by the entire wildlife team so it is a great learning experience for the interns,” added Mr. Bebe.
Christobeth Audubo who is one of the interns from the University of Natural Resources and Environment (UNRE) said, “Finally I am happy to be an intern at the Nature Park as I get to apply the skills that I have learnt in the field that I graduated from. I am looking forward to learning as much as I can during my internship as the Port Moresby Nature Park”.
There are many challenges accompanied with having the opportunity of working as a wildlife intern at a welfare accredited zoo such as Port Moresby Nature Park. Some of these are:
– Preparing the food for the animals, who all have different dietary requirements;
– Learning how to care and observe the animals, so all their welfare requirements are met;
– Managing tasks when there are hundreds of animals to care for daily; And,
– Knowing the various species of animals.
However, it is due to the perseverance and passion that wildlife carers have for animals that some of these interns have come out successful in the internship program, earning themselves full-time jobs as Wildlife Carers at the Port Moresby Nature Park.
The Port Moresby Nature Park is dedicated to inspiring in others the guardianship of PNG’s unique natural environment and wildlife whilst continuing to develop and enhance the skills of the wildlife team in line with international animal welfare standards.