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From Classroom to Conservation: Former Animal Management Student, Jay Holdsworth, Secures Role as Animal Keeper

7 March 2024

Jay Holdsworth, former Level 3 Animal Management student of Stamford College, part of Inspire Education Group (IEG), has advanced to the position of Animal Keeper at the county’s premier animal attraction, Lincolnshire Wildlife Park.

Undertaking his studies between 2017 to 2020, Jay benefited from the guidance of seasoned lecturers with a wealth of industry experience, learning about animal health, anatomy, welfare, nutrition and conservation. “My College experience was very positive,” Jay shared. “The teaching staff were so knowledgeable and caring, which gave me the confidence to pursue a career in the animal care industry.”

Upon completion of the course, Jay secured the position of Head Keeper at Rutland Zoo. “My time there gave me valuable experience of working with animals like raccoons, armadillos and caimans, enriching my understanding of different species and their behaviours,” he shared.

Jay then progressed to his current position of Animal Keeper at Lincolnshire Wildlife Park, Europe’s only dedicated Parrot Sanctuary. “Of course, I work with a lot of parrots, but I also care for mammals like tapirs and lemurs, and large carnivores like Bengal tigers, and one of only two black leopards on display in the UK,” Jay explained. “It’s a fantastic role. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and that will never change.”

When asked what advice he would give to anyone considering pursuing a career in the animal care industry, Jay shared, “Working with animals if fantastic, but you need to remember it’s not just about cuddling and playtime – there’s a lot of skill, knowledge and manual labour involved. Use your passion for animals to drive your learning and development, to make a meaningful difference to their everyday lives.”

Inspire Education Group wishes Jay the best of luck in his future career.

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