Saturday, December 17, 2011

10th Student Course on Environmental Enrichment

Presents the 10th

The dates for the next SEEC are: Monday, 13th to Thursday, 16th February 2012.

Shape Instructors: Mark Kingston Jones and Chris Hales – accredited by BIAZA

Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks are pleased to host the 10th Student Course on Environmental Enrichment, run by Mark Kingston Jones and Chris Hales. Mark has been involved in the animal welfare field since 2004. He now works at Howletts and Port Lympne as ‘Research and Enrichment Supervisor’, organising workshops, talks and working with keepers to design and implement enrichment ideas. In addition to running nine previous SEECs, he is a Shape instructor, having been involved in three Shape workshops, both in the UK and Indonesia and is now the Shape-UK and Ireland Events Co-ordinator. As well as being an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Kent, he received two animal welfare awards for student research projects, and has presented 11 talks on topics relating to animal welfare at conferences, both nationally and internationally. Chris has been an instructor on eight previous courses, having been a Keeper at Port Lympne for over 12yrs, with experience working on every section with a multitude of taxa. Chris is a Shape Instructor with a wide range of experience in the field of husbandry and enrichment, specialising in carnivore enrichment which he presented on at two national conferences. He is now the Shape-UK and Ireland Facebook Group Co-ordinator.

This course is designed around the Shape format and accredited by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA). It is aimed specifically at college and university students (past or present) who do not currently work within a zoo setting, but are looking to do so as a career. Over 3½ days students will gain a background in animal welfare and enrichment, dealing with welfare needs of different species, as well as providing practical skills in designing, building and testing enrichment within the settings of both Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks, in Kent. Our aim is to provide valuable experience and an overview of additional useful skills to a would-be keeper’s CV. Please note you must be 18 or over to attend this course.

The course is roughly split between lecture and practical components. Lecture topics include: Animal welfare, the 5 categories of enrichment, the enrichment framework, animal husbandry and learning and breaking into the zoo world. Short talks will focus on carnivore, primate, and ungulate enrichment and in-situ conservation. Additionally, there will be practicals involving animal learning, and working with rope and fire hose. The final day of the course will result in the application of all these principles as delegates are split into groups, allowing you the opportunity to design, build and test enrichment with one of our animals from a selection of species.

Please note that delegates are required to provide their own lunches and can either bring their own or purchase food from the canteen. Information on discounted bed and breakfast accommodation is available on request and the number of available places is limited, so please book early.

The workshop registration fee of £150 includes:

~ All workshop materials over the 3½ days (Monday 12noon-5pm, Tuesday to Thursday 9am-5pm).

~ Materials for practical sessions.

~ Drinks and biscuits during the scheduled tea breaks.

For further information and to request a booking form please contact: Christine Dutfield on:


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