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Drusillas zookeeper celebrates 30 years mucking out
4:20am Tuesday 4th February 2014 in News
A zoo manager is celebrating 30 years of working at award-winning Drusillas Park after starting aged 16.
Sue Woodgate started out as a junior keeper and three decades later is running the ten-acre wildlife park and is responsible for both its animals and its keepers.
Sue started at Drusillas after a serious riding accident ended her dream of a career with horses.
Sue said: “We had fewer animals but there were just three of us to look after them - the curator, the head keeper and myself.
“Most of my day consisted of mucking out. By comparison, today we have ten zoo keepers working at any one time.”
She worked her way through the ranks and when the zoo changed hands in 1997 the new owners offered her the role of zoo curator.
The title changed to zoo and education manager in 2004 giving her oversight of all aspects of animal welfare, conservation, and species management.
She added: “One question I regularly get asked is are there any animals still here that were here when I started and it may surprise you to know that there are - some of our flamingos arrived at Drusillas around the same time as I did.
“Flamingos can live for over 50 years. Who knows, at this rate I could even celebrate a golden anniversary with them at Drusillas.”
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