Snake handling tops scale for zoo volunteer Di Mitchell

Di Mitchell loves her role as a volunteer - and snake handler - at Perth Zoo. Picture: Will Russell www.communitypix.com.au   d466860
Di Mitchell loves her role as a volunteer - and snake handler - at Perth Zoo. Picture: Will Russell www.communitypix.com.au d466860

DI Mitchell is no stranger to handling snakes or greeting visitors at the Perth Zoo.

The South Perth resident is among the 310 active volunteers who make up the Perth Zoo Docent Association, an independent organisation that helps animals and tourists.

“I wanted to something different after I retired, the zoo was close, and I really loved the animals and gardens at the zoo,” she said. “The docents are all really lovely and since I joined about 12 years ago, I’ve been supporting the association; I’ve been a secretary and vice-president in the past.”

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Mrs Mitchell said she had her “finger in a lot of pies” at the zoo and had been involved in many activities

“It’s the old adage that you get out of it what you put in,” she said.

“I’ve met a lot of fabulous friends and like-minded people and I just love the animals.

“About two years ago, one of my friends talked me into sitting the exam so I could handle the snakes and now I just love it.

“I do enjoy looking at the crocs, they are so fabulous and prehistoric looking but I also like to elephants and orang-utans too.”

Mrs Mitchell said she also enjoyed greeting visitors and helping them on their journey around the zoo.

The Perth Zoo Docent Association is looking for people aged 18 years and over, who are good communicators, physically fit and can commit at least two days a month from 9am until 3pm.

A free two-hour information session will be held at Perth Zoo on April 1 to learn more about the role and duties of docents. Visit www.perthzoo.wa.gov.au/event/annual-docent-intake-2017.