Meet the 22 year old ranger at Jimmy’s Farm

7:00 p.m. November 16, 2021

3:01 p.m. November 18, 2021

Working with animals is considered the dream job of many people and for Ipswich’s more exotic creatures they are in good hands under the care of a 22 year old ranger.

Izzy Macfarlane worked at Jimmy’s Farm for five years until he worked close to the animals every day as a ranger.

She is in charge of the lower part of the park which sees her tending to Barbary macaques, coatis, emus, Morelet crocodiles, snakes, lizards and turtles – to name a few. .

A coati is closely related to the raccoon
– Credit: Charlotte Bond

It’s his job to watch the animals, feed them, clean their pens and start rehabilitating some of the animals that haven’t had a good start in life.

She is currently working with the farm’s newly arrived Barbary lemurs and macaques who had not been looked after very well by their previous owners.

One monkey in particular called Adao has been found wandering the streets of Portugal after his owner did not know how to take care of him properly.

She said: “Our group [of monkeys] right now are pretty threatened and it’s the fact that they’ve been taken from their homes, sold on the pet trade and we’re just trying to educate people about that.

“We are trying to help Adao because we believe he has been abused in the past and we hope we can show him natural behaviors. If we just get a small amount of progress it makes you feel so much better because this animal trusts me.

“I had never worked with primates before, so it’s quite nice to learn that.”

Izzy feeds a lemur in an enclosure

Izzy helps rehabilitate the park’s two species of lemurs and Barbary macaques
– Credit: Charlotte Bond

Izzy started at Jimmy’s Farm as an apprentice at age 17. But while studying for her animal management course, she struggled with the academic side due to her dyslexia.

However, she never let that stop her, getting her level three apprenticeship and now working full time at the park.

“I knew I had a hard time reading and writing, but you don’t give up. At the end of the day, I talk to people, they don’t need to see how I write. Just because I was told I had it didn’t mean I couldn’t do something.

Izzy feeds the crocodiles in a cage

Izzy feeds the crocodiles
– Credit: Charlotte Bond

For other young people looking to work with animals, Izzy says don’t give up and find as much work experience as possible.

If you are a young person with an interesting career or hobby and would like to share your story, send an email to [email protected]

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