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Anna's Inside Scoop with Lottie McPhillips

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

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, Lottie!

Hi Lottie, how long have you worked for ZooLab?

I first got hired by ZooLab in April 2020. Needless to say, coronavirus kind of put everything on halt for a while! I went and worked in my old primary school as a SEN teaching assistant during the pandemic until ZooLab called me up to rehire me in June this year!

What is your role in the company?

I'm a ZooLab ranger. I visit lots of different places, teaching people about my animals and look after them all at home!

Lottie (left) with Jess and Anna at Wellington Country Park

With ZooLab, everyday is different! Can you think of a day which was completely out of the ordinary for you?

I recently was booked for a session to bring the animals to a school so the GCSE students could take photos of them for their Art photography project! It was unlike anything else I'd done but so much fun, some of the photos came out absolutely amazing. I wish my GCSE art project had been like that!

What is something you love about working for ZooLab?

I love when you can tell you've really made a difference to someone's day. Sometimes that's in residential care homes and a sweet old lady coos over your rats while cuddling them. Sometimes it's a young boy who was crying because he was so terrified of the snake, but by the end is beaming and holding her and stays behind to tell me how much he loves snakes now. My favourite is visiting The Children's Trust (the UKs leading charity for children with brain injuries) because sometimes you just get this one moment where they reach out to touch an animal or make eye contact and give this absolutely amazing smile.

Tell us a little bit about yourself! Do you have any siblings?

I do have siblings! I have two younger brothers. One works in film and TV production and my youngest brother is training to be an aerospace engineer.

What are some of your hobbies?

I'm a bit of an old lady with my hobbies if I'm honest! I like knitting, even if I have no concept of sizes (my most recent project makes me look like an orangutan), I like reading and doing research on my animals. I suppose one pretty cool hobby I have is scuba diving- I'm a PADI certified Rescue Diver which I did at age 17. It was one of the things I was most proud of accomplishing.

What food could you not live without?

I absolutely could not live without Mexican food. A great big veggie burrito is my absolute favourite thing to eat!

It's a beautiful, sunny day! What's your ideal way to spend it?

Oh that sounds like the perfect kind of day for a picnic down by the river! Tasty food, sunbathing and relaxing. Although my partner and I always pack far too much food whenever we go on picnics- I make him carry the giant wicker picnic basket!

Who are your favourite ZooLab animals to work with?

My favourite ZooLab animals to work with are my giant snails! I have a variety of species and find them really interesting and cute. Although at home I'm always found cuddling my rats!

And finally, what would you do if you won the lottery?

If I won the lottery I would upgrade all my animal enclosures! They are all in large, bioactive or naturalistic enclosures but I love spoiling my animals and would always give them more if I could! My biggest corn snake is in a giant 5ft enclosure- I'd love to have all of them in something that size if I had space!

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