Outstanding students recognised by Sparsholt College at BIAZA Awards

Alongside the good and the great attending the annual BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) Awards, two students studying the Level 3 Diploma in the Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animals were recognised by Sparsholt College for the outstanding results they have achieved during the course. Katie Webster of Woburn Safari Park and Caroline Howard of Dudley Zoo were jointly awarded the BIAZA by course Director Andy Beer. The presentation of the award is part of the annual BIAZA Awards ceremony in which the Association recognises and the hard work and successes of Members and celebrates outstanding achievements in the field. Each year at this event, one of the highlights of the British zoo community’s year, Sparsholt College also recognises its top learners who are employed by the animal collections which are members of BIAZA.

  

Sparsholt College Hampshire is the only provider of the qualification through its partnership with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums since 2002. It is delivered through regional centres in Edinburgh, Blackpool, Chester, Dudley, London, Bristol, Dublin and Sparsholt covering a range of subjects from animal health; nutrition and feeds; records; transportation; breeding and reproduction; and enclosure design and maintenance.  It is a unique programme of study delivered as a distance learning package over 2 years for zoo keepers and aquarists who are employed in zoos, safari parks and aquariums within the UK and Ireland (this is a pre-requisite to enrolment on the course).

The Diploma in the Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animals is led by Course Director Andy Beer, who when not teaching, is also the Nutritionist for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS). This involves evaluating and modifying the diets of the large range of species within their two animal collections at Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park.  He said: “The attraction of this qualification is that learners such as Katie and Caroline can combine academic development through an understanding of the technical aspects of the management of the animals they work with together with the practical aspects of caring for the animals under their charge – which are often highly endangered in their natural habitat. This unique provision  provides a level and breadth of specialist subject content not matched by generalist courses in animal management at Further and Higher Education.”  

Katie is a member of the Elephant team at Woburn Safari Park and Caroline works in the Education and Learning Department at the Zoo in Dudley.  Both Katie and Caroline achieved outstanding results, gaining a maximum number of 17 distinctions in the course units. The trophies which were presented in recognition of these excellent achievements have an interesting story in themselves as they are made in Swaziland from recycled glass bottles collected by children and delivered to a workshop which reforms them into ornaments for sale. Paignton Zoo in Devon procured the trophies for the College.

For further information regarding the Diploma in the Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animals or any other courses offered at Sparsholt College Hampshire please visit www.sparsholt.ac.uk or call 01962 776441.

ENDS

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