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What's it like to work with penguins?

  • Monday 6th July 2020

Watch Taylor feeding some of our cheeky penguins!

We have a chat to one of our Bird Keepers, Taylor, about some of the perks of the job. 


How long have you worked at the aquarium?

It'll be two years in July! I started in front of house operations and made my transition to Penguins last February so a year in both departments 🙂 

(Taylor blowing bubbles to the penguins)


Do you have any other animal or related experience you can tell us about?

I volunteered for Animalia Wildlife Shelter where I was very lucky to help look after native Australian animals. I also completed my Certificate III in Captive Animals last year so I'm now officially a qualified Zoo Keeper.

(Taylor with her penguin friends)


What is your favourite part of your job?

I have many but I really, really, love learning and watching what they get up to. Who they socialise with, what kind of enrichment they love or their quirky ways they all eat and move about the exhibit. I also absolutely love getting into the pool!

(Taylor cleaning the penguin pool)


Who is your favourite creature at the aquarium?

I love Leo our Leopard Shark!! I did the Shark Dive Xtreme for my 21st birthday, five years ago and Leo came and sat right next to me! Four years later and I get to work in the same building as him!

(Shark Dive Xtreme featuring Leo the leopard shark and Mitchell the grey nurse shark)


What’s your best memory or experience working at SEA LIFE?

The first time I held a chick, last year I weighed Kiko who was our first Gentoo chick born and I cried I was so overwhelmed with happiness and cuteness from the little fluffy chick in my hands.

(Gentoo penguin chicks)


Who is your favourite penguin and why?

ODIN! Odey boy, Odey, The bestest boy! I started at the same time he hatched and I have loved him ever since. First chick I really had a lot of contact with and we both made our way into the big wide penguin world together. He is also very good looking for a penguin, nice and bright colouring and very beautiful eyes!! Takes after his Dad Blake.

(Odin when still a chick)


What is the toughest part about being a penguin keeper?

It's very physical so I would say that’s the toughest part is the sore muscles from the physicality of it.


Do you get to touch the baby penguins?

We sure do!!! AND IT NEVER GETS OLD!


(Weighing of a brand new king penguin chick)


Can I keep one as a pet?

I wish! I would 100% take Odin home if we had a choice haha!


What is the grossest part of your job?

Properly cleaning out the drains where all of the bird poo goes!


Learn more about our penguin keepers or become a junior penguin keeper here...