Congratulations to former BSc Equine Studies and DMZAA (Diploma in the Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animals) student Gemma Metcalf, winner of BIAZA Mammal Working Group best presentation. Gemma’s “Training Groups of Zebra for Hand Injection” presentation was voted best by the leading zoo representatives who had gathered at Blackpool Zoo for the annual meeting.

Gemma’s presentation focused on her training work de-sensitising zebras to routine care such as taking blood samples and giving injections which can now be administered without anesthesia, minimizing stress to the animal.

Andy Beer, Director of Zoo Management Studies at Sparsholt College said: “The outcome of Gemma’s training programme has the potential to make big impacts on route husbandry practices for exotic equids such as zebras, Somali wild ass, and kiangs. As a result of this presentation Gemma has received enquiries from a number of zoos and wildlife parks seeking her assistance in helping to train their animals.

Gemma works at London Zoo as a keeper in the Hoofstock Section. In July 2015 she completed the Diploma in the Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animals, a course exclusive to Sparsholt College, and an internationally recognised distance learning programme for professionals working in zoos in India, the Middle East and China (appointed by BIAZA).

For more information on the DMZZA please visit Sparsholt.ac.uk or call 01962 776441.