James Shora

James Shora, Zoo Keeper

What is your favourite animal/species to work with at the Zoo and why?

Whilst i really enjoy working with our range of exotic mammals from across the globe, i'm surprised how much a certain reptile has become my favourite species to work with! Our panther chameleon Sir George is one of our most colourful animals with some really cool adaptations, and seeing him launch his tongue at insects to eat never gets old! 

What conservation project do you currently support and why?

I'm passionate about protecting the place we call home, and conservation efforts to bring back species that until recently, used to live alongside us in the UK. Beavers are an animal that take care of our environment, shaping rivers and supporting loads of our other native species - supporting reintroduction projects helps them support us!

If you could bring one species back from extinction, what would it be and why?

This is a tough one, but i'd have to say the Ground Sloth - for a really silly reason. Ice Age was the first video cassette i ever owned, and i'd love to see a real life Sid the Sloth!

What animal at the Zoo would you most say has a personality most similar to yours and why?

If you asked me, i'd say our very cheeky capuchins. They've been seen using primitive tools in the wild, and i like to think im quite handy with a hammer or a saw. I'm sure our cleverest capuchin Medellin could master a bit of DIY if he had his own toolbox! The other keepers would tell you its whichever animal eats the most, so maybe i should say the otters; both of us have 5 meals a day!

What is the smelliest job at the Zoo and why?

There are so many to choose from, but i think i'd have to say cleaning our Coati bedroom! Its the perfect size for our coatis to have a cuddle under their heat lamp at night, but a bit of a squeeze for me - once i manage to crawl in there, its hard to escape the smell!