Meet Dave. He has a very important job. He is the Curator of Blue Planet Aquarium.
Firstly, it might be worth us asking the question, what is a Curator? The dictionary definition is “the custodian of a collection.” That’s exactly what they do in Blue Planet. The Curator oversees the well-being of all the animals at the aquarium and is directly responsible for our team of aquarists and divers.
So, with that answered we can move on to what a Curator does. Day-to-day, it’s ensuring the animals are healthy and well cared for. Their enclosures and tanks are kept in the best possible condition. Provide enrichment and stimulation to ensure the animals are happy. All while coordinating a team of aquarists or animal care professionals to achieve these aims.
The animal residents are the number one priority in every decision Blue Planet make. The role encompasses a lot, it certainly keeps Dave busy. One day he may be removing stitches from a Copperhead Viper that has recently had surgery, the next he may be putting on his scuba gear to look after the Sand Tiger Sharks in our Ocean Exhibit. It’s safe to say the role is central to the running of the Aquarium.
I asked Dave what his advice would be to anyone looking to become the Curator of an aquarium. “It’s important to study animals in further education, as well as useful skills that are important to the role, such as plumbing.”
He goes on to say “Jump at every opportunity to gain experience within the animal industry. I worked with lions for two years and learnt a lot of transferable skills. It’s very important to have a passion and commitment to animal welfare.”
Curators can face pretty unique challenges. Imagine if you had to transport a shark across the country, set up a temporary quarantine home for it and then ensure it is fit and healthy enough to join its friends in the exhibit tank. Where would you even begin? Well, these are the sort of things Curators need to consider. The rewards are pretty great though. Take a look at Dave the Curator, releasing Dave the Sand Tiger Shark into our massive Ocean Exhibit tank.