EXOTIC animals are in safe hands with Copeland Council’s new local authority zoo inspector.
Quinn Wright, Environmental Protection Technical Officer, is now a certified inspector after undergoing two days of intense training, helping make sure the borough’s exotic animals are safe and well cared for.
The council’s environmental health team is responsible for animal licencing across the borough, and for carrying out regular inspections of Copeland’s only zoo at present – at Muncaster Castle.
The training featured subjects including the Zoo Licencing Act, inspection processes, enforcement, animal care and welfare, public safety, and staff training.
Complex topics including firearm safety, contagious diseases and dangerous creatures were also covered.
Part of the training was delivered on site at Yorkshire Wildlife Park where Mr Wright got up close and personal with polar bears, giraffes, lions and lemurs.
Quinn Wright, Environmental Protection Technical Officer, said: “I really enjoyed listening to the trainer’s personal experiences around what to look out for, and things that went wrong at different zoos he had inspected.
“It gave great insight into the things that could go wrong if zoos are not run properly - one example was that zoo keepers had to run through a baboon enclosure to feed the rhinos.
“The practical side was also another favourite of mine. We visited Yorkshire Wildlife Park carrying out mock inspections on different areas.
“We got to inspect different enclosures, the facilities, and ask questions to zookeepers about the animals.
“It gave us a taste of what an inspection would be like all while learning about the adequate care and storage of many different animals including polar bears, lions, giraffes and lemurs to name a few.
“I look forward to carrying out inspections at Muncaster Castle, and being ready to advise anyone who may be interested in opening a zoo in Copeland.”
Peter Frost-Pennington, of Muncaster Castle, said: “We are delighted to hear that Quinn Wright has qualified as Copeland Council’s local authority zoo inspector and we very much look forward to working with him at Muncaster Hawk & Owl Centre.
“It is essential to us that we maintain very high standards in looking after the amazing birds of prey we are honoured to host at Muncaster. This helps to continue our important conservation work and ensure visitors can learn about these fabulous creatures.
“Zoo licensing is an essential part of this process, as it proves we are complying with all necessary legislation.”