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A group of 40 Level 3 Animal Care learners have recently travelled Stateside for an action packed adventure to Florida. They were given first hand experience of how animals in America are cared for in order to compare with similar settings here in the UK. Learners had been studying how animals play a part in society and also studied wildlife in the UK and have now been given the opportunity to observe both in Florida.
There were many highlights during their visit with Seaworld being a particular favourite of the places they explored as they visited various animal enclosures, saw dolphin and sealion shows and took part in a question and answer session with animal trainers.
Learners and staff shared an amazing experience which has broadened their knowledge and understanding of the key factors surrounding caring for animals in captivity.
During their visit the learners explored many different places including Aquatica and Busch Gardens where they had the chance to observe a fantastic gorilla enclosure, explore insights into parks that focus on entertainment shows with animal participation and allowed them to see the differences in the way enclosures are designed.
Another highlight was swimming with dolphins and snorkelling in a lagoon of reef fish and stingrays during their visit to Discovery Cove. Their adventure ended with a visit to the edge of the Everglades in Kissimmee where they went on an airboat tour to observe bald eagles and an alligator caring for it’s young.
South Staffordshire College’s Animal Care lecturer Sophie King spoke about the aims and objectives of the visit, “For me, as a teacher, learner enrichment plays a vital role in education as does getting out into industry and seeing how what they learn in theory lessons links to the real world. Florida seemed the perfect way to do this. It enabled the learners to gain independence and experience the culture of a different country as well as allowing them to see and experience parks and attractions that will help with their studies and future careers. The visit was a huge success and the learners were a credit to South Staffordshire College”.
Animal Care learner Amy Yates said, “The study tour provided all lecturers and learners with once in a lifetime opportunities and allowed us to do things we could only dream of. The parks we were able to visit showcased a wide range of animals and opportunities such as swimming with dolphins and an airboat tour to find alligators. It was truly an exceptional experience and everyone is so lucky to have been given this opportunity”.
If this is the kind of experience that you dream of and would love the opportunity to take part in such an incredible adventure, find out more about courses and sign up at www.southstaffs.ac.uk/animalcare
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