Habi­tat’s new snake charmer

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

“I’m try­ing to get my head around the over­all job, in terms of mar­ket­ing, the res­tau­rant side and over­seeA FAN of ev­ery­thing furry, feath­ing the wildlife side,” he said. ered and scaled, Dar­ren Smith is the new gen­eral man­ager for Port “Mak­ing sure we meet all the Dou­glas’s Wildlife Habi­tat. leg­isla­tive reg­u­la­tions in terms of

health and safety and main­tain­ing Only two weeks into the job and our ad­vanced eco-ac­cred­i­ta­tions - Mr Smith is al­ready fa­mil­iar with ev­ery­thing from the up­keep of the work­ing with na­tive an­i­mals af­ter place to mak­ing sure the wel­fare of hav­ing lived in the rain­for­est for the wildlife is spot on. five years.

“It’s a pretty unique job and that’s “I’m a banker orig­i­nally, I spent why I’m here with ex­pe­ri­ence in 15 years with a bank in Melbourne, re­sorts, accommodation and wil­dran a mo­tel in Swan Hill, Vic­to­ria,

Pucker up: Dar­ren Smith, new man­ager life tours, of the it’s Wildlife all about Habi­tat na­ture and be­fore trav­el­ling around Australia ata Port Dou­glas aims to to get a firm grip on wildlife, the tourism it ties mar­ket. in.” Pic. Neil

for six-months with my fam­ily,” he Weaversw C0138877 The goal of the new gen­eral said. man­ager is to fur­ther im­prove the

“We landed in Cape Tribu­la­tion prod­uct with the im­mer­sion ex­hiband ran the Her­itage Lodge in the its, where peo­ple can come in and rain­for­est for five years, where I’ve get close with the an­i­mals. had cas­sowaries in my back yard, “It’s about giv­ing peo­ple the best pythons in the be­d­room and been ex­pe­ri­ence and I want to build on bit­ten by a death adder. in­ter­ac­tions with the an­i­mals, pull

“Since then I have been work­ing ing away from the tra­di­tional zoo,” var­i­ous jobs in Cairns and this job Mr Smith said. came up and it was right up my “It’s about get­ting up close with al­ley, I’ve al­ways been a na­ture man the an­i­mals. I will be fo­cus­ing on so I’m rapt to get this, my dream new prod­ucts and new ex­hibits.” job.” One of the new­est at­trac­tions is the

Mr Smith at­tributes the fact he new chicks from the Chest­nut Rails, does not mind get­ting his hands a rare bird found in trop­i­cal raindirty as to why he got the job and is forests in In­done­sia and Australia, now busy set­tling in and over­see­ing which can be found in a nest in the the run­ning of the habi­tat. mid­dle of the Habi­tat’s res­tau­rant.

Photo by NEIL WEAVERS

xxxxx xxxx xxxx: at Weavers

Pucker up: Dar­ren Smith, new man­ager of the Wildlife

Habi­tat at Port Dou­glas aims to to get a firm grip on

the tourism mar­ket.

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