Keeper - Elephants and Seals
Joel has worked at Auckland Zoo for ten years, 8 of those on the elephant and seal team.
Joel has always had an interest in animals and was fond of elephants from a young age. After visiting the Zoo, seeing the amazing elephant programme, and the strong ties to conservation, he knew it was a path to explore.
On working with Burma, Joel says, "Burma is just so intelligent; no two days are the same with her. Being able to work with an animal with such an incredible level of intelligence is something very special and a privilege. Despite many years working with her, she still surprises, teaches and amazes me on a daily basis".
Trekking through the bush with Burma is Joel's favourite activity. "The first time I ever saw Burma show just how great she is at climbing incredibly steep banks and making it look so effortless, was amazing. I knew Asian elephants were designed to get through the toughest of jungle terrain, but to be with her, going step-by-step through these dense areas was great and is always a rewarding experience".