Monique with dingo Amy

Introducing our new Animal Management Officer, Monique Torrance-Hagedoorn

Our new Animal Management Officer, Monique Torrance-Hagedoorn, joined us in March. Now that she’s had a little time to settle in, we thought we’d give her another interview of sorts.

Why did you want to join Kaarakin?

“Ever since I can remember I have had a passion for nature and its inhabitants. I always knew I wanted to work with and for animals. Part of that is educating people how beautiful Mother Nature is and that each species has an important role to play in our ecosystem. My idols were not superstars, but people like Dr Jane Goodall and Sir David Attenborough.”

Monique has already made a huge impact through her previous roles in conservation, animal welfare organisations and government departments. Joining Kaarakin was a natural fit – and she’s dedicated to the mission.

What’s your favourite thing about the black cockatoos?

“Before I answer that question, I would like to stress that I am not ‘speciest’ at all and have no preference for specific animals.”

In her past 25 years of working with animals, Monique’s had the delight to get close to many unusual animals, including walruses, dolphins, red pandas and a long list of African animals.

“Now my favourite thing about the black cockatoos is that they are extremely cheeky and smart. I also love the fact that they play a huge role within our ecosystem. They are the dispersers of seeds and ensure forests continue to flourish and exist. We people are the ones not living in harmony with nature and destroying habitats. I also love the fact that they usually mate for life and form tight family bonds.”

What’s your favourite part of your role at Kaarakin?

“Without a doubt I have to say, working with like-minded people that spend hours of their time looking after all the beautiful animals at Kaarakin and enriching their lives.”

“I also love to work on improvement of animal husbandry and animal welfare. I am a very scientific driven person … Seeing the outcome and animals benefiting from that, that is my ultimate reward.”

Do you have any exciting plans or big dreams for Kaarakin?

“I am 100% behind our mission which states:

“We seek to become the centre of excellence for the conservation of threatened and endangered black cockatoos. Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre is the only one of its kind as a black cockatoo sanctuary in Australia and in the world.”

“Kaarakin being recognised for just that is my big dream.”

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