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Tracey flies to Africa for her work experience

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: August 31, 2012

Tracey Twomey worked with chimpanzees at an orphanage in Zambia

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Many students looking for work experience will head to a local employer.

But Cornwall College student Tracey Twomey flew an incredible 5,000 miles to fulfil a dream – by working with chimpanzees in Africa.

The Newquay-based student, who is studying for a zoological conservation foundation degree, worked at the Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage in Zambia as part of her preparation for her chosen career. There she came into close contact with a variety of animals including hippos, parrots and baboons – and was able to hold a chimpanzee for the first time.

Describing what the moment meant to her, Tracey said: "It reinforced my love for chimpanzees and made me more determined to work with them in the future."

Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage was established in 1983 and is now home to more than 100 chimpanzees.

During her four-week placement, Tracey carried out a number of essential roles including preparing food and feeding the chimps as well as creating enrichment activities for the animals.

She also had the opportunity to share her passion by speaking to visitors and school groups.

The budding zoologist hopes the experience will allow her to build a career around the animals she loves.

Head of Cornwall College in Newquay Dr Andrew Smart said: "This placement will definitely help Tracey gain employment at the end of her course, as she has shown that she's prepared to go the extra mile to progress her career."

He added that, whether it is going the extra mile or the extra 5,000 miles, Cornwall College aims to put a major emphasis on the importance of work experience for gaining the knowledge and skills that help to fulfil dreams and ambitions.

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