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Life as an intern at Colchester Zoo's UmPhafa Reserve

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Name: Ryan McClory
Home Town: Bath
Studies at: The University of Plymouth
Studying: Conservation Biology
Special interest: Trees

UmPhafa landscapeRyan began his journey to becoming an UmPhafa intern after meeting one of Colchester Zoo’s conservation officers who visited his university and delivered a presentation on life at the reserve, the history on how and why it was created and the vital work it is now involved in.

Ryan is now on a placement year, working out on the field to gain hands on experience in conservation; his first stop was UmPhafa before he moves on to study Wolves in Portugal and taking on a placement back in the UK to complete his final year of study with the hope to complete a masters.

Signing up for a 3 month stay, Ryan joined our team on UmPhafa in Sept 2014. Ryan shared with us what he has gained from his time at UmPhafa, “I feel I have learnt much more than I expected to during my stay. I feel very much involved with the overall running on the reserve on a day to day basis.”

Controlled burnsInternships at the reserve include a lot of hard work but everyone of our visitors gets to become part of a different culture, make new friends and enjoy experiences that will create memories to last a lifetime! When we asked Ryan what his favourite parts of the internship were Ryan answered, “I have really enjoyed the walks on the reserve. It is a great way to look at all the smaller things. I also enjoyed helping with the controlled burns, setting up camera traps and checking the photos when the cameras were collected.

Internships at UmPhafa are available to anyone with a love of animals who is over the age of 18yrs and keen to play a vital part in conservation. For Ryan, the time he has spent at UmPhafa has only solidified his belief in a career in conservation. 

Click here for information on how you can apply for an internship at UmPhafa.

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Since its first conception, UmPhafa has seen the return of two large carnivores to the site through free migration; leopard and spotted hyena

Number of species offically recorded on Umphafa

Mammals 49
Birds 186
Reptiles 24
Amphibians 10
Trees 62