Thursday, November 25, 2010

Don't Expect To Grow Old In The Zoo

Next year in the UK new laws come into effect which will mean that employers will no longer be able to officially 'retire' employees who reach the ripe old age of 65.

Is it a bad thing? As someone you is very rapidly approaching my three score years and five I believe it is right and just that people can be given the choice. I have not lost my marbles. Today I could still lift five bags of Dairy Nuts on my shoulders (easier now that they dropped the weight on the bags) or work a 16 hour day. True enough bits of me are a little worn. Old zoo injuries give me some pain at times but other parts of me work better than they have ever done.

What is probably the most significant thing I could bring with me into my 66th year would be knowledge and expertise. Not from books but from life.

So today we learn that the 78 year old Marquess of Bath has decided to dismiss more than 25 of his staff of pensionable age. I do reckon that perhaps 78 is the age that we should worry about. Obviously the brain cells of some individuals have started to slough away.

The Marquess of Bath is of course the owner of the Longleat Safari Park (a zoo by another name).

Given the chop were 18 over 70, 7 over 75 and 2 over 80. To choose now to carry out this misdeed shows a deliberate plan of avoidance. Staff should be judged on their merits and not how old they are.

For Books on Zoo Management and more please visit
For regular updated Zoo News, Views, Reviews and Vacancies please visit
 Zoo News Digest on
Learn More About Zoos and Aquariums by visiting
and subscribe to the largest and longest established zoo related ezine
by clicking

'No Mirrors Involved'
Snow Leopards
Photo supplied by Peter Litherland of the


To advertise on Zoo News Digest please click

1 comment:

  1. Re the forcible retiring of older staff by the Marquess of Bath, he has no idea how much the institution is losing with these people. “Institutional memory” is one name for it, including how certain policies and practices evolved to their present state, the needs of particular species learned from observing different individuals and situations over a long period, the ability to synthesize new solutions from all this experience...One could go on and on.

    Keeping exotics needs the strength and energy (mental and physical) of the younger, the experience and perspective of the elder, and the best ideas worked out by both together.

    Marvelous snow leopard photo!