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Taronga Talks

Author: Taronga Zoo

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Working at Taronga Zoo is more than just a job - Taronga means family.
The deep connections our staff develop with wildlife and the natural world affects the lives of others, near and far.
From Sydney to Dubbo, Taronga's people all have amazing untold Zoo stories that will touch your heart and open your eyes.
Join our family with Taronga Talks.
13 Episodes
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We were honoured to welcome the incredible Dr. Jane Goodall to Taronga this month for an intimate conversation at Taronga's wonderful Institute of Science and Learning. With almost 60 years of chimpanzee research at Gombe National Park in Tanzania, coupled with first-hand knowledge of global issues facing our future generations, Dr. Jane shines a light on the choices we can all make to secure the future that our planet desperately needs. Her message is one of hope, unity and inspiration - that together we will secure a shared future for wildlife and people.
Growing up in Sydney's pristine Northern Beaches, Wendy Gleen used to wake up to blue-tongued lizards, diamond pythons, koalas and a brilliant dawn chorus. Then one day she realised that houses had replaced animals and the birds had stopped singing... and nobody else seemed to notice. As Senior Keeper in Taronga Zoo's Australian Fauna division, Wendy challenges you to step through the 'magic portal' and once again open your eyes to the diverse, wild world around you.
Signed up and ready to join the Royal Australian Air Force, Maz Boz never thought a 'Keeper for the Day' experience at Taronga Zoo would change his life forever. He was so blown away by the people and magic of Taronga that he immediately changed his career, joining Taronga as a volunteer keeper. Today, Maz continues to pursue a fulfilling vocation as a Carnivore Keeper - enriching the lives of Meerkats, Sun Bears and Red Pandas in his care whilst inspiring Taronga Zoo Guests every day.
With up to 600 animals attending Taronga Western Plains Zoo Wildlife Hospital in any given year, no two days are the same for Senior Veterinarian Dr. Benn Bryant. From annual health checks of Taronga Western Plains Zoo's mega-vertebrates like Giraffe, to saving local injured wildlife, Benn works tirelessly to achieve the optimal welfare and health of every animal. Growing up in suburban Sydney suburbs, Benn credits his love of animals to formative farming experiences, along with his admiration of veterinarian hero, James Herriot. Today, Benn extends his own veterinarian expertise from Dubbo to conservation efforts abroad, helping to successfully breed the critically-endangered Sumatran Rhinoceros in Indonesia.
The strong bond between a keeper and their animal is hard-won, yet the most valuable tool available for animal training and enrichment. Danielle Fox knows that, like all good relationships, trust and rapport is earned over time. From the diligent Californian Sea Lion to the cruisy New Zealand Fur Seal, Danielle adjusts her training approach to suit both the species and character of each individual. As Unit Supervisor of Marine Mammals, Danielle Fox feels privileged that her animals chose to accept her - and that together they inspire thousands of people to live for the wild.
As far back as he can remember, Paul Davies always wanted to be a Zoo Keeper. His childhood visits to Whipsnade Zoo in England cemented both his love of animals and awe of the zoo keeping profession. When life took an unexpected turn during his teens, Paul sought travel - first moving to Scotland before his big move to Australia. Thirty-six years later, Paul counts himself lucky to work as a Senior Australian Fauna Keeper at Taronga Zoo. Caring for native species like Feathertail Gliders, Long-nose Bandicoots, Bettongs and Potoroos in Taronga Zoo's Nocturnal House, Paul Davies uses creativity to reveal the animals right on your doorstep.
Looking after the world's fastest mammal, one of the world's slowest animals and Africa's most efficient predator is all in a day's work for Taronga Western Plains Zoo Keeper Jordie Michelmore. Having joined Taronga Zoo's 'Youth at the Zoo' program (YATZ) at 14 years-old, Jordie's passion for animals keeps her chasing every opportunity - from relocating to Dubbo to look after Cheetahs, Galapagos Tortoise and African Wild Dog, to working with the Northern Rangelands Trust in Kenya to protect endangered wildlife.
Though scaly and scary to some, Michael McFadden has always loved reptiles. His Honours degree first led him to Taronga Zoo, where he seized an opportunity to work in the Reptile House. Now Unit Supervisor for Herpetofauna, Michael is living out his childhood dream of not only working with reptiles and amphibians - but saving many critically endangered species from extinction. From breeding and releasing the tiny Southern Corroboree Frog back into Kosciuszko National Park, to conducting field research of the mighty Komodo Dragon in Indonesia, Michael shares his passion for the 'unsung heroes' of the animal world.
Had she not called up to confirm her post, Louise Ginman may have never worked at Taronga Zoo. Just ten days after starting as a Carnivore Keeper, Louise first experienced the joy of welcoming Sumatran Tiger cubs to the world. Twenty-five years later as Carnivore Unit Supervisor, she is raising cubs again - this time Red Panda and Sumatran Tiger triplets! With less than 50 breeding pairs of Sumatran Tigers left in the wild, Louise's work breeding and caring for this critically endangered species is more important than ever.
Hundreds of metres of fencing forms a sanctuary for some of Australia's most vulnerable and critically endangered species. Yet how can we save Australia's Greater Bilby, Regent Honeyeater and Plains-Wanderer from behind a fence? Andrew Elphinstone sheds light on 're-wilding' and his most important conservation project yet as Taronga's Manager of Conservation and Recovery Programs.
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Comments (3)

Sam Haddrill

Thanks for a great, insightful podcast! Professional, passionate and intimate discussions on a variety of topics.

Apr 13th
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Andrew Jones

finished all episodes & can't wait to hear more! 🐅

Mar 29th
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Andrew Jones

this is amazing I can't wait to hear more stories guys! I'm a volunteer keeper at western plains zoo and this just makes me want to be a part of the team even more a big inspiration! very well done & put together podcasts and a great listen 🐨🤙

Mar 27th
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