Featherdale F hd l Wildlif Wildlife P Park’s k’ di director of f life sciences celebrates two decades of watching over our native animals.
EVER SINCE HE was a young boy, Chad Staples has loved animals. After finishing school in 1996 he took a chance and applied for work experience with Featherdale Wildlife Park, one of western Sydney’s most popular tourist attractions and home to one of Australia’s most comprehensive native wildlife collections. Luckily for Chad, there was an opening and that led to a paid role as an entrylevel zookeeper in February 1997. Fast forward to 2017 and Chad is now celebrating 20 years with the park, the past four as director of life sciences. “It’s an incredibly difficult industry to get into, and so to have been in it now for 20 years…I feel very fortunate, that’s for sure,” he says. “It’s the job you dream about.” It’s not just working with animals that Chad enjoys. “I love introducing people to animals,” he says. “I spent three years of my time here as the education coordinator, teaching kids about animals – and I just loved it. It’s so exciting to see people just light up and fall in love with Australian animals – it’s a huge highlight.”