Nicola Day – Keeper Volunteer

Nicola Day – Keeper volunteer

Name: Nicola Day

Department: Keeper team

Volunteering start date: April 2015

What do you do in your day-to-day life?

Full-time mum and part-time Retail Assistant at B&Q.

What made you apply to volunteer at The Big Cat Sanctuary?

After seeing Pan and Ronja’s cubs (Amasia & her sisters) on Natures Newborns on TV, I googled WHF and found the open days were coming up. After visiting on the Open Days, I booked a Big Cat Encounter experience and fell in love with the place so applied to volunteer.

What expertise do you bring to the sanctuary?

I used to work as a vet nurse so have a fair bit of animal experience in general. I also love to do a bit of weeding in the stand offs I find it very therapeutic 🙂

Which resident Big Cat Sanctuary cat is your favourite cat and why?

Ta’iri… Not only is the boy absolutely stunning but I love how feisty his is but actually think he’s a big old scaredy-cat!

What do you enjoy most about your time at The Big Cat Sanctuary?

Everything! After four years the novelty hasn’t worn off, I love how peaceful it is there, I love feeding and cleaning the cats out, weeding, helping with photography groups, and even though to begin with tours terrified me I love sharing my knowledge and experiences with the guests so these days I’m even enjoying tours!

What do you enjoy most about being a volunteer?

Being part of something special, I feel really proud when I explain to people what I do each Thursday 🙂

Tell us your most memorable experience at The Big Cat Sanctuary.

Probably my first day when Ricky took me into the cheetah enclosure with the three boys and his ranger, Martin wouldn’t leave me alone, Ricky said he hadn’t seen that sort of behaviour before, so I didn’t know whether to be happy or terrified!  

Tell us something we wouldn’t otherwise know about you.

I have a condition called Elhers Danlos Syndrome. It doesn’t affect me day-to-day as I only have a mild form of it, I’m a little more flexible than I should be and it’s why I’m so ‘petite’.

What is your favourite animal and why?

Other than cats it has to be Elephants! 

What would be your advice to someone who was thinking about volunteering their time?

Do it!! It’s hard work, sometimes quite disgusting and stinky but so SO rewarding!!