The task was just the right level of challenge; difficult enough to get us thinking, but manageable in the time we had. Mark and Chris were very helpful and fun whilst we were building the feeders and knowledgeable and interesting when we were visiting the animals.
Great team building day - I would highly recommend it. We were a small team of 8 and when we were searching for team building activities we were concerned that there weren't enough of us to have a fun, and productive team building day. We couldn't have been more wrong! The two trainers were excellent, and the activities really helped us bond as a team. During the day we had to plan a build a food maze for gorillas. This is something that is completely different from our day job - we swapped computers for power tools! When we first found out what we would be doing we thought that we would never be able to finish it, but the trainers were very supportive and it was amazing to see the finished product! Since it was something completely different from our day job, it allowed us to genuinely bond as a team, without worrying about hierarchies or seniority of some members of staff. At the end of the day we got to see the gorillas "play" with our food mazes, which was immensely rewarding. Working as a team doing something completely different allow me understand the team dynamics much better, and I believe that it has helped improve our communication and strengthen us as a team. Thank you!!
The SHAPE workshop was really good fun! I went on the course as part of a summer project I am completing on enrichment between my second and third year at vet school. Mark and Chris are truly experts in the field and are very able teachers. The course was engaging at all points, the material were good and the practical elements great. There was more practical in the course than I was expecting, however it was very helpful to be able to put in to practice what we had learnt from the lecture elements as well as really make a difference to the animals at the sanctuary the course took place at with the enrichment devices we built. I also enjoyed the social aspect and ethical discussions that took place, it was great to socialise with people with the same interests as myself! As a vet student wanting to work in the zoo field, I found the course very relevant to the species I want to work with. The principles described in the course can also be transferred to other species and I think would benefit other vet students in the care of their own animals but also as a vet.
I loved this course, and in such a short time we were received a very rounded education on the enrichment of captive animals. This course would be invaluable to anyone already or wanting to work with captive animals, as we learnt all about enrichment theory, and were then able to put it into practice at the monkey sanctuary. Lakeview was an amazing place to go, as it is not open to the public, and we were able to build enrichment items for monkeys that had all had very rough lives. For example, my group built items for a group of long-tailed macaques that had been rescued from a lab - seeing the monkeys use something that had taken hours to make was incredibly satisfying.
The course was fantastic, I can't recommend it enough! Mark and Chris we great they work well together and were very engaging plus with there extensive knowledge in the zoological sector I knew the information and tips were trustworthy! The lectures and content was great, and really opened your eyes to the industry and realities of zoo life! The lakeview monkey sanctuary was gorgeous and inspiring! All the animals are well cared for and the work we do for them over the duration of course is incredible! Definitely made me want to join the zoological sector more than I already did!
Very enjoyable and informative course. Lakeview Monkey Sanctuary run by two of the most genuinely likeable and hard working people I have ever met. Would recommend the course to anyone wishing to improve the lives of captive animals; things to think about and basic techniques learned as well as ideas gleaned from fellow participants.
Excellent course amazing teachers would recommend Need colour handoutsResponse : Thank you so much for the feedback Pam! We would love to be able to do this with all the pictures and video stills, but unfortunately the cost of doing such a large hand-out document in colour is prohibitive. We would have to put the price of the course up, and we really want to keep it as accessible as possible.