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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 August 2007, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK
Job Profile: Life as a zookeeper
Raymond Robinson
Raymond Robinson works at Belfast Zoo

What's it like to be a zookeeper? Or a poet? The BBC went on the road to find out. In this online series, Daniel Preysman looks at four jobs, from the quirky to the extraordinary. Today, part two looks at what it's like to work with animals.

Name: Raymond Robinson

Hometown: Comber

Occupation: Zookeeper

How's the pay?
Spot on, thanks. I'm never going to be a millionaire out of it, but I'm very happy with what I get paid.

How are the hours?
Super. I usually start at 8 in the morning and finish at 4.

Where do you spend most of the day?
Hiding usually - I'm only joking. I spend most of the day in the bird area, around the parrots and in the free flight aviary.

Best part of the job?
The contact with the animals themselves. When something hatches or something's born, it's a big thrill, but it's great just getting to know the animals themselves, their personalities and their habits and trying to stay out of the way of the ones that are trying to lift lumps out of you.

Worst part of the job?
Apparently, stinking before home time - smelling like your animals, according to the girls in the office. There's really no bad part of the job I can think of.

Tomorrow, we continue our series looking at what it's like to be a Poet.






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