Kylie Martin - Vet Nurse and Zoo Keeper
I'm a Veterinary Nurse and Swing Zoo Keeper (which means I rotate around all keeper rounds here at the Zoo)
Before Hamilton Zoo, I was a verterinary nurse for nine years, working with cats and dogs in general and referral practices here and in Australia. I also volunteered in different parts of the world on in-situ animal projects and zoos.
The best thing about my job... there's a few. Most days are good days working with wild animals. But babies/cubs/pups/chicks/calves, brings even more good times watching the mother care for them and seeing them grow. They are super cute and make me laugh with their antics. Also assisting the vets with veterinary procedures is a highlight of my job because we can get hands on with animals we may not normally get to touch, and we can make them better. Also engaging people with the animals so hopefully they will go home and make some changes in their life for the better of all animals.
My least favourte thing about my job is saying goodbye to animals either because they are sick or are moved to another zoo. Especially Akida, a serval, who went to a zoo in America as part of the breeding programme. A few tears were shed that day when I dropped him at the airport.
My favourite animal? I have so many favourites I can't pick one. But my pick of animals to work with would be primates and cats. Lucifer the chimpanzee is one of my favourites when he is in a playful mood. I also have a special place in my heart for Mr and Mrs Branco, our tapirs.
I've had so many memorable experiences during my time at Hamilton Zoo; monitoring tiger anaesthetic, milking a rhino so we could help her feed her calf, building relationships with animals with training, tapir cuddles, assisting with rearing of lemurs and red pandas, kiwi surgery and watching Crackle the pig give birth!