Author: Benjamin Collier

Departure from Paignton

Baby King Colobus

So I’ve finally reached the end of my stay here in Paignton – and I know its cliché to say – but the time really did fly past! I really can’t believe its been a whole five weeks already. During my internship I learnt so much more than I thought I would about zoological research and now feel really confident in a lot of new skills . In this last week here I’ve simply continued the work I was doing at the half-way point, only now with complete independence.

The cutest and most amazing animal ever, the Emperor Tamarin

Looking back on my time as a whole, I have plenty of great memories and experiences.

Reaching the halfway point

Now passing the halfway point of my time here at Paignton zoo, I’ve switched to becoming almost completely independent in the work I’m doing. From the start, the general idea was that I would have two weeks of training with the project leader, followed by two/ three  weeks of unsupervised work. The overall project itself is now in its third phase. Now that the ‘before’ and ‘during’ data has been collected over the year for the primate’s probiotic treatment it’s time to analyse some of the possible lasting health benefits in the ‘after’ stage. Excitingly, early data analysis is looking good already. For my remaining time here I’ll be continuing to assemble behavioural, faecal and food intake data ready for the end of the project.

Touchdown in Paignton

Yesterday, following a fairly long (but mostly hassle-free) trip from my home in South London to the sunny seaside town of Paignton, I woke up early to start my internship training. The town, as per its namesake, is home to the Paignton Zoo & Environmental park as well as the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust. Established in 1959, the Trust operates in locations all over the UK, working for both domestic and international conservation goals. My two days of training was incredibly hectic and involved meeting a lot of new people alongside being told about a myriad of different aspects to the research project I will be joining in on.

A quick photograph I snuck in between collecting foodstuff and faecal scoring in the enclosure with the Emperor tamarins… I’m hoping to learn a lot more about wildlife photography while I’m here

To sum up what I’ll be doing as simply as I can:

The project I’m working on was established around a year ago and aims to investigate the possible effects of two different probiotics on the general wellbeing of a number of primate species held at the zoo.