Jamie Baker, Head Keeper
What is your favourite animal to work with at the zoo and why?
Although I love getting to work with each and every one of the animals that call our zoo home, I do have a soft spot for our family of ring-tailed Lemurs. They display some really interesting behaviours, with my favourite being their meditation pose when they sunbathe! I love seeing how excited they get for their favourite foods, especially sweet potato!
What conservation project do you currently support and why?
I have always supported and taken a lot of interest in the mammal society, a charity that uses scientific research to promote conservation and increase people’s knowledge of our very own British mammal species. Did you know that 1 in 5 British mammals face a high risk of extinction? An important part of working at the zoo for me is the work we do for British species such as the Scottish wildcat, the harvest mouse and the rehabilitation work we do for hedgehogs!
If you could bring one species back from extinction, what would it be and why?
I would definitely choose the Thylacine, also known as the Tasmanian tiger, they looked amazing and were the largest carnivorous marsupials of modern times (they had an appearance similar to that of a canine but were able to carry their young in a pouch! how cool is that?).
Which animal at the zoo would you say has a personality most similar to yours and why?
Right, so this answer definitely comes from the other keepers more than me, but to my embarrassment, i agree. Feather the Shetland Pony and myself share quite a few personality traits, not only do I enjoy being pampered and having my hair done like feather but i also love food and although I wouldn't bite your arm off for a carrot like feather, i certainly get very grumpy if I’m denied my favourite snacks. Oh, and I don’t like missing out on anything, just like feather when she gallops across her paddock at 100mph if she sees the donkeys getting fed without her.
what is the smelliest job at the zoo?
The smelliest of all of the jobs at the zoo is by far... de-sludging the otter pit! Our otters lovely pond drains away into a pit and we have the messy job of getting into our waders and paling out the poop and leftover fish from their mealtimes... it’s a good job we love our three Asian small clawed otters!
Can you show us the funniest photo on your phone of one of the animals you work with at the zoo?