About Us

Julian Chapman

Julian first became a keeper in 1978 starting as a Junior Keeper at ZSL Whipsnade Wild Animal Park. He continued working in the industry for over 35 years during which he reached the position of Senior Head-Keeper of Mammals at Paignton Zoo. During this time he passed both the Paddington College Zoo Animal Management Course and the City and Guilds Certificate in Zoo Management, for which he was awarded their bronze medal and presented to HM The Queen. 

As well as the normal duties of a senior zoo keeper he also went on to become a Zoo Tutor for the Advanced Certificate in the Management of Zoo Animals and its replacement the Diploma in the Management of Zoo Animals and Aquaria. In addition to this Julian also lectured on the Zoo Conservation Biology MSc based at Plymouth University as well as helping the numerous students involved with studies at the zoo. 

Alongside this work Julian was also on the committee for the Association of British and Irish Wild Animal Keepers and several committees of the Shape of Enrichment including the Shape-Regional Committee which he co-founded. Shape- Regional has now several regional groups all around the world helping to promote enrichment and encourage animal carers to present their work at various conferences.    

Photograph acknowledgement

We would like to acknowledge Tree Arcade for their photographs of Sarah and Julian during their involvement at the first Shape Regional conference in Romania in October 2016.

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About Us

Julian also helped co-ordinate the work of the Common Dormouse Captive Breeders Group which has seen the successful re-introduction of Common Dormice to many areas of the UK. Zoo and Zoo habitat design is also another area that he has been involved in particularly with several exhibits in Paignton Zoo Environmental Park and the development of Living Coasts. 

Although now self-employed and not currently based in a collection Julian is still actively involved with enrichment and often gives talks or workshops at various conferences as well as assisting with the setting up of a new course for zoo keepers.   

About Us

Sarah Chapman

Sarah qualified as a vet in June 2000 from the Royal (Dick) School  of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery. After qualification, she worked in mixed animal practice in East Yorkshire where she also worked with exotics and wildlife. In September 2004 she began the Masters course in Wild Animal Health and completed her dissertation on the Mortality of Captive Gorillas.  

She then worked in South East England, where she gained her Certificate in Zoological Medicine and was part of the veterinary team at Woburn Safari Park. Following this post, she worked at Paignton Zoo for three years as Associate Veterinarian. She was Head of Veterinary Services for Twycross Zoo for five years working with a large variety of large and small exotic animals and was an Honorary Assistant Professor of the University of Nottingham Veterinary School of Veterinary Medicine and Science.

Sarah is the leader of the health sub-group of the UK Elephant Welfare Group; veterinary advisor for the UK Elephant Focus Group and also the Bongo Taxon Advisory Group. Her research interests include Great Ape heart disease, elephant herpes virus and animal welfare in captivity.  

Sarah gained her RCVS diploma in Zoo Medicine (Mammalian) in 2014 and became an RCVS Recognised Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine in 2015. She has also spent time teaching in China and Romania and in the Cameroon doing veterinary work with rescued primates.  

Sarah joined Sabrina Brando, WAZA Welfare Coordinator, for visits of various zoos in Thailand and Vietnam to carry out audits of welfare efforts.