My CO-OP Experience by Seth Talbot
Hi, my name is Seth Talbot and I’m a 16 year old high school student in grade 11 at Dunbarton High School. Some of my interests are science and animals, and because I love them so much I decided I wanted to take co-op involving animals and science at the Toronto Zoo. I am working with Species at Risk turtles in the Zoo’s Conservation, Education and Wildlife Department. They’re not as cool as working with gorillas but I’m glad I still get to be involved with animals.
Some of my daily routines at the co-op include turtle care, office work and helping with outreach events. Turtle care involves cleaning the turtles by siphoning the poop out of the turtle tanks. You don’t want the turtles swimming in their poop, they could get sick (That’s happened to a pet fish I had). I also sometimes get to feed the turtles nutrient gel and worms.
Now onto the office work. Office work is a good experience if you want to become a better writer because you write a lot! I, for example, was a horrible writer before coming to the co-op. I would mash sentences together and I would repeat words multiple times. Since I’ve been at the Zoo I have been working on my writing skills by writing assignments like species profiles. Also working in the office is fun because you can hear past stories and get to interact with your coworkers.
Working at my co-op provides great volunteer opportunities. I dressed up as a mascot for Appreciation Day for Adopt-A-Pond’s Ontario Turtle Tally and FrogWatch Ontario citizen science groups. The mascot was a Banding’s turtle. The costume was kind of hard to walk in and it was very warm, but it was a lot of fun. Adopt-A-Pond, the Toronto Zoo’s Wetland Conservation Programme, is very involved with the community and the environment. I have participated in the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up, where I picked up garbage, including large pieces of sheet metal, off the shoreline of Lake Ontario.
If you liked my experience at the Zoo then you should try to get a co-op at the Zoo or even volunteer at the Zoo.
For more youth volunteer opportunities check out the Toronto Zoo’s:
The Zoo Ambassador Student Volunteer program is a great way to gain your community hours while participating in important animal conservation programs and events!
For more information about Toronto Zoo conservation programs visit: