Job Exchange Program – Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane
Hello! I am Connie from Ocean Park Hong Kong. JEP not just gave me one of an incredible experience in Lone Pine, but also offer me a chance to visit Australia, which is the first time in my life! Thank you Akane for arranging us different activities every day, make me know more about the daily operation in Lone Pine and the element included in their education programs.
I joined their platinum tour on the first day and thanks Jo for doing this amazing tour for us that I never had before. First of all, we met the bird trainer and she told us that how to make the enrichment for the bird. We could put the breakfast (some fruits) on the net and the bird would go search for the food.
After visiting the bird, we went to see the koala vet check. Jo explained what they would do for the vet check and which body part they would check to ensure the koala is healthy. She is professional to tell us everything in a great detail.
Then, MY DREAM CAME TRUE! We had a chance to hug the Koala and take photo with them. They were so fluffy and a bit heavier than what I imagined.
The most special part was we could walk the dingo together with the trainer. The trainer also told us some animal fun fact, such as they are brother and sister, but the brother need to do everything with his sister, he felt sad if he had not found the sister. They are so cute!
We experienced being as a koala volunteer in the second day. It was good to know that they really care about animal welfare. In Lone Pine, each of the koala would have their own time schedule, they could only leave their exhibit 30 minutes for the photo taking or program every day. Also, we stood in the kangaroo exhibit to see if the public did something inappropriate to the kangaroo. The kangaroo exhibit was huge! They had enough space to run around freely and if they did not want to be disturbed by people, they could get into the protected area that people were not allowed to get in. We could see that animal welfare was the first priority in Lone Pine, they set up different policies for protecting their animals.
Besides that, we observed some of their school programs as well. The biggest difference of the program between Lone Pine and Ocean Park is they don’t really have a classroom for it. They would just do all the program in the nature. Therefore, children could feel the environment when we teach them about the nature. They also had chance to touch the real animal during the program.
I am so glad to have this opportunity to the JEP in Lone Pine. People there were nice and friendly, they were willing to share everything with us, not just about their job, but also their life experiences and culture. I really appreciated their effort on animal welfare and their programs. This inspired me to have new idea in creating education program.