Animal Welfare degree student launches Zookeeping career

23rd February 2023

An Animal Behaviour & Welfare BSc graduate from Solihull College & University Centre has had an exciting start to her career journey after receiving a first-class honours in her degree.

Upon graduating from the College in 2022, Nel Cherry, 26 from Solihull, went straight into employment at Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens as a Zookeeper Intern. After completing her internship, Nel has now secured a role at Whipsnade Zoo.

Animal Welfare degree student launches Zookeeping career

Nel Cherry has experience working with a range of different species in a variety of settings

Nel has had an interesting and varied career and educational journey. She first began studying childcare but whilst gaining experience she realised she found engaging with the animals a lot more rewarding.

This change of heart led her to an agriculture apprenticeship at Umberslade Farm Park following which she enrolled on the College’s BSc Animal Behaviour & Welfare Degree.

Nel explains: “I was researching local universities that offered animal courses and the College was a perfect fit. I had an excellent time on the course and all the teachers we had were amazing and very supportive, especially Claudine. You gain strong scientific knowledge and understanding of behaviour and welfare as well as a range of other relevant topics that I’ve been able to apply whilst working in the field.”

Students at the College were impressed to hear about Nel’s career journey

Claudine Barnes has been lecturing at the College for over a decade and is the Programme Lead for the Animal Welfare & Veterinary Nursing’s university level courses. Speaking about Nel, Claudine shares: “She was an exceptional student on the BSc Animal Behaviour & Welfare course, always striving to do her very best. Her determination paid off and she came out with a First in her degree. We are all so proud of how far she has come, and I’m sure she will go on to great things in her career.”

During her time on the course, Nel volunteered at Birmingham Wildlife Park where she was able to put her learning to practice as she looked after Red Pandas, Otters, Lemurs and more.

Recently, Nel visited the College to speak to current Level 3 students and share valuable advice as well as a unique insight into her life as a Zookeeper. The students were engaged and fascinated to see pictures of Nel caring for a Southern White Rhino, Tamandua, Red Panda and more.

The College wishes Nel all the best with her exciting career!

Find out more about the College’s Animal Welfare & Veterinary Nursing courses: Animal Welfare & Veterinary Nursing