From elephants to little blue penguins, no creature is too great or too small for our new intern, Chloe Cargill.
Originally from Yorkshire in the United Kingdom, Chloe joined us last week and we’re very excited for the part she’s going to play.
While she will be helping out with a range of KORI activities, her primary goal will be heading up our Penguin Education Awareness Programmes (P.E.A.P.s) as well as raising awareness and improving protection efforts for our tiny and precious penguin colony.
However, this isn’t Chloe’s first foray into conservation.
A life-long animal lover, her planned career as a vet was dropped when she realised that,“it wasn’t people that needed help with their animals, but animals that needed help to recover from and persist through the negative impacts of an increasing human global population”.
While birds are a firm favourite, she also spent time with The Millennium Elephant Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Sri Lanka that aims to improve the welfare of the country’s domestic elephants.
Here she learnt the importance of raising awareness of conservation among the Sri Lankan population, but also those visiting the country. This is a lesson she intends to take with her to Kaikōura.
Our work with the local little blue penguins dates back to 2012. We conduct weekly checks which involve weighing and measuring eggs and chicks to ensure they’re healthy. Our trained volunteers also attach identity bands to chicks before they fledge. This enables ongoing monitoring of which birds comes back to nest, the mating partnerships, and which nest boxes are preferred by particular pairs of penguins.
Chloe’s job will focus around introducing visitors (both tourists and locals) to the penguins, as well as teaching them about the threats facing the birds, and what they can do to help.
She will be in charge of giving educational presentations, as well as providing groups the chance of a face-to-face encounter with the penguins from our purpose-built viewing area.
For Chloe this project is the perfect balance between scientific research and community engagement, “I am very much looking forward to being part of an organisation that, like myself, is dedicated to changing attitudes towards human-wildlife interactions and reducing human-wildlife conflict.”
Expect regular updates from Chloe on our Facebook and Instagram pages, and join us in wishing her the best of luck as she begins her time in Kaikōura.
To book onto a P.E.A.P. with Chloe, email KORI on email@example.com