Animal Management students at Hartpury snapped up the chance to get close up with crocodiles and raise their reptile knowledge recently.
Students on the BTEC Level Three Diploma in Animal Management visited ‘Crocodiles of the World’ in Oxfordshire – the only crocodile zoo in the UK – to learn more about the different methods of handling and moving crocodile species.
They were able to get hands on with a young West African Dwarf Crocodile with the trip giving them first-hand experience of larger species and a broader understanding of different husbandry and conservation practices. Some of the students could go on to follow in the footsteps of Hartpury graduate Tom Lawton, who completed a degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and now works as a wildlife ranger in Queensland, Australia.
His role with the Northern Region wildlife management unit includes the management of protected, native wildlife – mostly crocodile and cassowary management (case study attached).
Tom said: “My lecturers at Hartpury were great and supportive of my unusual career path, allowing me to base some of my coursework around Australian conservation and crocodiles.
“My learning experience allowed me to get where I am today. It opened doors and showed me the importance of research and report writing, elements I use in my current role.”
Hartpury has also completely revamped its reptile room, giving Further and Higher Education students the chance to increase their interaction with smaller reptiles, including a wide range of snakes, lizards and other invertebrates.
Nichola Mayo, Subject Leader and Lecturer in Animal Management at Hartpury, said: “The improvements to the reptile room benefit the students as the new purpose-built vivariums are the type they are likely to experience working in the industry. They also give them better access to the animals and improved visibility, while the new equipment is better for the welfare of the reptiles too.
“All Animal Management students across Further and Higher Education get the chance to work with reptiles.and we’re committed to continually improving their learning experience. We’re also currently redeveloping our aquatics room.”
Hartpury offers a wide range of Animal Management Diplomas as well as degrees in Animal Science, Bioveterinary Science, Veterinary Nursing and Animal Behaviour and Welfare, which also offers postgraduate study options.