Anna's Inside Scoop with Anya Wiltschinsky
Updated: Mar 4
One of the best things about ZooLab has got to be working with an incredible team! Each month, Ranger Anna will interview a member of the ZooLab family.
This month we will be speaking to ZooLab Ranger, Anya!
Hi Anya, how long have you worked for ZooLab?
I've worked for ZooLab since July 2018, nearly 3 years!
What is your role in the company?
I'm a ZooLab Ranger; we care for our animals at home and work with them at schools, nurseries, care homes and events. Our sessions are tailored to the age group, school topic or event taking place.
With ZooLab, everyday is different! Can you think of a day which was completely out of the ordinary for you?
A day (or few days) that were out of the ordinary was when I worked at Brodsworth Hall! The animals and I were outside in the grounds of this stunning hall doing handling sessions with the animals that were tied to the history of the hall. I got to look round the beautiful gardens and it was lovely to be outside all the day in the summer. I think it only rained one of the days - not a typical British summer!
What is something you love about working for ZooLab?
Every day is different! I love driving to different places and meeting new people - especially when it helps them face their fears - and the amazement on their faces when they learn a fascinating new fact about an animal!
Tell us a little bit about yourself! What's your favourite animal and why?
My favourite animal has to be my degus, - they're like a tiny chinchilla or guinea pig with a long tail. Not many people have heard of them, so it's great for people to see and find out about more.
They are just so intelligent as well as incredibly adorable! All 5 of mine know tricks - they spin when asked, one runs to me when I call his name and one of my girl's jumps on my head when I ask her to!
Who is your hero?
My hero of the natural world is Steve Irwin, as he was someone I watched all the time on telly as a kid - he definitely sparked my interest in animals, making them fascinating and fun!
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
If I could live anywhere, I think it would be Iceland. The scenery and Northern lights would be so beautiful to experience. I also love the snow and cold weather, so it'd be ideal for me!
Tell us some of your hobbies!
Ooh, I have loads of hobbies! I love music - listening to and playing it. One of the reasons I love the driving part of the job is it gives me chance to listen to a new album! I play guitar, piano and sing and have recently started learning the drums over lockdown! I also write songs, play lead electric guitar and sing in a metal band called The Jade Convict, as well as playing acoustic guitar and singing as a solo act.
I also have a horse called Cuba. He's 3/4 Arabian, so very energetic and we both love to go fast! We've done competitions, gone to the beach and done loads of trail rides. I've ridden horses on and off, since I was about 2 years old.
I also love art and like to draw and paint. I like to stay active and do a lot of cycling - I have a mountain bike and prefer going off-road. I'm training for a triathlon at the minute so doing a lot of jogging too!
What is your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment? I would say getting the permanent job at ZooLab - I was initially hired just for a year for maternity cover! I've also done my grades on electric guitar, allowing me to teach a higher level and put students through their grades too.
And finally, what did you want to be when you were young?
The first job I wanted when I was really little was to be an astronaut! I've always been interested in space and astronomy. Then at school when I was a bit older, I wanted to be a vet. I didn't do well enough in college for that sadly, so went on to do music! Bit of a change!