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 Leitza Gorman


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Why did you decide to teach?

Animal Conservation is so important, both globally and locally. Both wildlife and human populations depend on our conservation of natural resources. I wanted to be a lecturer to guide and support students through this brilliant subject.

Why did you choose to teach your subject and what makes it exciting for you?

I have a real passion for Animal Conservation. I started working in a zoo after completing a degree in Animal Welfare and Behaviour. I learnt how important zoos are for the conservation of many species. I also have a passion for the ocean and our local environment in North Devon. These interests and passions helped me decide to become an Animal Conservation lecturer.

Why become a lecturer?

I wanted to pass on my knowledge and interest in Animal Conservation; that was at the heart of my decision.

Your previous industry experience?

After graduating, I began working in a local zoo looking after sea lions and penguins. At the end of my 10-year career working at the zoo, I was responsible for the management of the animal collection, ranging from large carnivores to primates. 

What have been the highlights in your career?

I found it very rewarding training a sea lion pup cooperative husbandry behaviours. These behaviours included voluntary injections, eye care, and taking medication. Training animals to participate in their own care improves their welfare and makes looking after them much easier.

I taught a student who was very nervous about public talks. During her time on my course I watched her confidence grow, towards the end of her final year she confidently delivered an online presentation completely on her own, that was a very proud moment for me.

Any tips for learners looking to study your programme?

Be prepared to go outside and get wet and muddy! Start engaging with conservation events and activities happening in the local areas. We live in an area of outstanding natural beauty, there are a lot of activities going on where you can gain lots of invaluable knowledge.

Are you currently working on any professional/personal projects?

I’m currently halfway through a master’s degree in Advanced Wildlife Conservation in Practice, which I’m thoroughly enjoying.

My personal project is trying to walk the whole of the South West coast path with my dog, we’re slowly but surely getting there.

CONTACT  Leitza Gorman