Our Staff

Tilgate Nature Centre is a great place to visit, but it’s also a fab place to work! Our team of animal-lovers work tirelessly to look after the animals and engage with the public.

Click on the names below to find out a bit more about some of our fantastic staff members!

Who will you meet first?

Ciaran                               Karen                                Nicole

Paul                                   Sam                                   Sandra

Shannon                            Livvy                                  Simon

Holly                                   Alex                                  Richard

Debbie                                                 Tavice

 

Ciaran – Zookeeper (Madagascar Zone)

Q. Hi Ciaran! Which animal do you love working with at Tilgate and why?

A. Leaf-tailed gecko. It’s such an unusual species and its camouflage is amazing!

Q. Which animals would you love to see come to the Nature Centre and why?

A. Spectacled bears or Komodo dragons: I’m a fan of giant animals – the more dangerous the better!

Q. What do you love about working at Tilgate Nature Centre?

A. Watching the zoo grow and working with new species that arrive.

Meet another staff member!

 

Karen – Zookeeper (Australasia Zone)

Q. Hi Karen! Which animal do you love working with at Tilgate and why?

A. I like the potoroos in the Australasian Zone. They sleep quite a lot but they always come out and see me when I feed them in the mornings!

Q. Which animals would you love to see come to the Nature Centre and why?

A. I’d love it if we had a butterfly house.

Q. What do you love about working at Tilgate Nature Centre?

A. Being able to work outside (yes, even in the winter!), and working with a wide variety of animals every day.

Meet another staff member!

 

Nicole – Zookeeper (Africa Zone)

Q. Hi Nicole! Which animal do you love working with at Tilgate and why?

A. I love our African grey hornbills! Our hornbills are full of personality and, surprisingly, have a variety of calls.

Q. Which animals would you love to see come to the Nature Centre and why?

A.  Porcupines! I used to work with a family of porcupines at another zoo, they’re awesome animals.

Q. What do you love about working at Tilgate Nature Centre?

A. I’ve always loved caring for animals and there’s such a wide range of species at Tilgate to look after and learn about.

Meet another staff member!

 

Paul – Zookeeper (Europe Zone)

Q. Hi Paul! Which animal do you love working with at Tilgate and why?

A. That’s a tough decision! It’s between the raccoon dogs, Sumo and Sushi, and our ring-tailed coati, Diego.

Q. Which animals would you love to see come to the Nature Centre and why?

A. Black and white-ruffed lemurs. Their big fluffy tails and booming calls are something to behold.

Q. What do you love about working at Tilgate Nature Centre?

A. Working with animals is always so rewarding.

Meet another staff member!

 

Sam – Zookeeper (Asia Zone)

Q) Hi Sam! Which animal do you love working with at Tilgate and why?

A) Lola the capybara. She’s cute and friendly, and as a respectable older lady with dignity, she reminds me of Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey. She’s just so endearing!

Q) Which animals would you love to see at the Nature Centre and why?

A) I love monkeys. Primates are really cool and I think capuchins or howler monkeys would be great to have here. We don’t have any monkeys here at the moment and I’d like to add them to the collection.

Q) What do you love about working at Tilgate Nature Centre?

A) I’m not sitting in an office all day, I like that I’m up and about with the animals.

Meet another staff member!

 

Sandra – Zookeeper (Domestic Zone)

Q. Hi Sandra! Which animal do you love working with at Tilgate and why?

A. I don’t think I can pick just one. Can I choose four? My favourites are Nipper and Jimmy the donkeys, and Cinnamon and Nutmeg the ponies.

Q. Which animals would you love to see come to the Nature Centre and why?

A. I would love to get elephants at Tilgate! But I’m not sure we have the room…!

Q. What do you love about working at Tilgate Nature Centre?

A. I love working outside and working with lots of different species.

Meet another staff member!

 

Shannon – Zookeeper (Americas Zone)

Q) Hi Shannon! Which animal do you love working with at Tilgate & why?

A) I’m sure everyone will say Alf the tapir, but I have a very special place in my heart for Bob the alpaca! He’s very mischievous and always has a cheeky glint in his eye and a wicked smile on his face!

Q) Which animals would you love to see at the Nature Centre & why?

A) I love marmosets. The rumour is that we will be getting some soon and I just can’t wait!

Q) What do you love about working at Tilgate Nature Centre?

A) There’s such a range of different species in my section alone and I love that I get to work with such a diverse array of different animals.

Meet another staff member!

 

Livvy – Zookeeper

Q) Hi Livvy! Which animal do you love working with at Tilgate and why?

A) Potoroos! They’re so inquisitive, they will come up to say hello and keep you company when you’re working in their enclosure.

Q) Which animals would you love to see at the Nature Centre and why?

A) I’d like a wolverine. I love mustelids (the weasel family) and they’re the largest species from that family.

Q) What do you love about working at Tilgate Nature Centre?

A) I like the team, they’re very fun. We’ve also got a nice range of species, and they’re all very well looked after.

Meet another staff member!

 

Simon – Nature Centre Manager and resident bird expert

Q) Hi Simon! Which animal do you love working with at Tilgate and why?

A) It’s such a difficult choice between all the birds at Tilgate! The Northern bald ibis are probably  my favourite, because we have been part of their conservation effort and I think that’s something we can be really proud of.

Q) Which animals would you love to see at the Nature Centre and why?

A) There are lot’s of exciting future plans for the Nature Centre and, being a bird man, I’d like to see flamingos or possibly even penguins!

Q) What do you love about working at Tilgate Nature Centre?

A) Obviously, working with animals! No two days are the same as there’s so many species to work with. I also love that we’re constantly evolving and adding new species and experiences to the collection year on year.

Meet another staff member!

 

Holly – Education Officer

Q) Hi Holly! Which animal do you love working with at Tilgate and why?

A) That’s a hard one, I love Fezziwig the barn owl with all my heart but I’m also going to have to say Buddy the chattering lory because she’s very friendly, incredibly clever and lots of fun! Can I have two favourites?

Q) Which animals would you love to see at the Nature Centre and why?

A) Lammergeiers (AKA bearded vultures) because they look like real-life dragons & have wonderfully gruesome eating habits – they drop bones from a great height to break them, then eat the tasty bone marrow – yum!

Q) What do you love about working at Tilgate Nature Centre?

A) Every day is different, so you never get bored!

Meet another staff member!

 

Alex – Education Officer

Q) Hi Alex! Which animal do you love working with at Tilgate and why?

A) I love working with our snakes that we use in our education sessions. They’re a great way to get people excited about reptiles and conservation!

Q) Which animals would you love to see at the Nature Centre and why?

A) Giant tortoises! I’d love to have Galapagos or Aldabran Giant tortoises in a state of the art tortoise house.

Q. What do you love about working at Tilgate Nature Centre?

A) Everyone is so passionate about what they do!

Meet another staff member!

 

Richard – Education Officer

Q. Hi Richard! Which animal do you love working with at Tilgate and why?

A. I love so many of the animals here; Fezziwig the barn owl, the meerkats, the harvest mice…. But it’s got to be Alf the tapir! He’s just so friendly and inquisitive!

Q. Which animals would you love to see come to the Nature Centre and why?

A. Aardvarks! They’re such unique, interesting animals. I remember the first time I saw one in real life, and they just looked so bizarre and strange. I love it when nature surprises you more than you think it could!

Q. What do you love about working at Tilgate Nature Centre?

A. In my job, I get the chance to talk to the public all about animals. What could be better than that? It’s so amazing to be able to get other people excited about the natural world!

Meet another staff member!

 

Debbie – Retail Manager

Q. Hi Debbie! Which animal do you love working with at Tilgate and why?

A. Scrooge the Bengal eagle owl! He is incredibly handsome and has hypnotising amber eyes.

Q. Which animals would you love to see come to the Nature Centre and why?

A. Squirrel monkeys! They’re mischievous and cheeky; endless entertainment!

Q. What do you love about working at Tilgate Nature Centre?

A. I love seeing customers having a fun and educational day out. And, of course, working with the lovely Nature Centre staff.

Meet another staff member!

 

Tavice – Retail Assistant

Q) Hi Tavice! Which animal do you love working with at Tilgate & why?

A) Meerkats are just so cute aren’t they? It’s easy to see why they’re so popular; they’re always active and up to something.

Q) Which animals would you love to see at the Nature Centre & why?

A) Penguins would attract lots of new visitors and they’re so charismatic to watch!

Q) What do you love about working at Tilgate Nature Centre?

A) It’s a very friendly environment, I get on well with the team and enjoy interacting with our visitors.

Meet another staff member!

 

What a nice group! Why not say  ‘hi’ next time you visit and have a think; what are your favourite animals at the Nature Centre and what would you like to see here in the future?

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