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Feeding the animals and ensuring that they are properly looked after costs over £200,000 a year, of which only 60% comes from visitor admissions. We are heavily dependent on the generosity of you the public for your donations, sponsorship and adoption of our residents, and for your participation in our Trust membership scheme. We have a number of other ways that you, your school, work place or family can help. We also have a dedicated team of volunteers and students helping with all daily operations so getting involved doesn't have to mean making a financial commitment.
BECOME A MembeR
Our membership scheme gives you and your family the opportunity to become part of our family! Members receive free entrance to the Zoo all year round during normal opening hours as well as invites to special events and private functions. You will also be kept up to date with regular newsletters and be the first to hear about the latest offers and events. Click this link to purchase on-line today, easy!
Adopt An Animal
You can adopt any of the animals here at the Trust for an annual fee, which not only goes towards the upkeep of that animal but also helps us to continue supporting conservation projects in the wild for that species. For example, adopting one our lemurs will also help fund our work in Madagascar.
Adopters receive an annual membership, allowing free entry to the Zoo for a year, so you can visit your chosen animal as often as you like. The adoption pack also includes a fact sheet, photograph, certificate and souvenir.
With only 5 paid members of staff, of which only three are full time, the work of the Trust relies on our dedicated team of over 40 volunteers! Drawing on the varied experiences of our wonderful team, we are able to achieve great things here at Shaldon. Several volunteers have been with us for many years and have a varied number of roles, from manning the front desk and maintaining our gardens to animal care and on site maintenance.
We accept volunteer applications throughout the year, depending on availability and which area you will be most suited to. If your application proves successful, we begin the process by inviting you in for a “trial day”. This firstly allows you as a volunteer to meet the team and to check whether it is something that you definitely want to be doing, (it is not always what people expect!), and secondly allows us to gauge your ability to undertake tasks effectively in your specified area of the zoo.
The areas that we train our volunteers on at the zoo can be found below:
General animal husbandry duties, including the feeding of animals and maintaining the cleanliness of their enclosures, enrichment building and making sure that the animals are well looked after. Other duties include keeping all zoo sections tidy by sweeping and washing windows and on occasion helping with re-branching of enclosures where necessary. This duty is usually a 9am-3/3:30pm shift and most animal care volunteers undertake one or two of these slots per week.
We prefer that you have had some previous experience working with animals, or aspire to be working towards a career in zoo keeping or similar. This area proves most popular and is highly competitive.
Front of house:
Greeting and admitting members of the public into the zoo, using the till and card machine, selling shop stock, making up memberships and adoptions for visitors, educating the public on the work that the zoo does. This duty is usually a 10am-1pm or 1pm-4pm shift and most desk volunteers undertake one or two of these slots per week.
As we are a small zoo with an important conservation message, we rely heavily on first impressions! This area is great if you enjoy interacting with the public and if you feel that you would enjoy educating others on the mission of the zoo. It is also good if you wish to enhance your communication skills.
Gardening and maintenance:
General sprucing and tidying of the gardens and land in the zoo. This includes planting new seeds, bulbs and plants, trimming back bushes and trees and keeping busy during the autumn months clearing leaves! The animals usually love this time of year as we can use most of the leaf litter for enrichment in the form of big leaf foraging piles with bugs hidden inside!
The above examples only include some of the work our volunteers undertake, so even if the above don’t take your fancy but you want to volunteer with us please get in touch to discuss further opportunities.
So if you would like to be part of our friendly and diverse team, please fill in the application form, and return to the Trust via email to email@example.com or by post to:
FAO Carly Murray Head Keeper, Shaldon Wildlife Trust, Ness Drive, Shaldon, TQ14 0HP