ABWAK Symposium 2018

Longleat 30th June & 1st July

"Practical Zookeeping"

  • sharing knowledge, skills and experience with other keepers and zoo professionals
  • developments in zoo animal husbandry, training, enclosure design and using research
  • talks on work with various taxa and conservation 

The ABWAK Symposium provides an excellent opportunity to share and network with colleagues and further advance knowledge and understanding.  In addition to our diverse programme of presentations, we are pleased to be able to offer delegates the chance to participate in workshops run by keepers and staff at Longleat. Workshops will be running on both days of the Symposium.  Please indicate your workshop preferences (1st, 2nd and 3rd) on your registration form; places are limited, but we will do our best to honour your selection.  The workshop choices are:

  • Basic Fire Arms Safety and Use - recognise basic weapons and ammunition, safe handling of empty weapon. Target shooting Air Gun  
  • Chemical Restraint - loading chemical restraint, use and shooting
  • Constructing for your Native Invertebrates - bug hides and homes
  • Rope Splicing 101 - learn to splice & take home item made
  • Dress a Deer - deer for post mortem & dressing
  • Guest Engagement - guidance on walkthroughs & handling group commentry
  • Ray Care and Management - ray restraint, management and breeding of rays
  • Browse Identification - talk in the woods/harveting species/recognise leaves and bark
  • Arachnid Handling and Homes - set up mini bioactive home for arachnids and handling
  • Gorilla Enrichment - create and view enrichment use
  • Carnivore Enrichment - make and put in enrichment for lions
  • Driving School - caring for the car and obstacle driving, tractor care and use

Or exclusive Meet the Keeper Workshops - small groups (max 5 persons on each) to meet keepers & visit behind the scenes for (please choose from the following):

  • Carnivore
  • Elephant
  • Gorilla
  • Rhino
  • Giraffe
  • Penguin
  • Xenarthra
  • Bats
  • Red Panda & Callitrichid
  • Birds


REGISTRATION FORM - all delegates and speakers MUST complete a registration form otherwise your booking will not be confirmed.  Please submit completed forms to Laura Gardner: [email protected]

You will then be sent your booking confirmation with further details of the event. 

Closing date for registrations Friday 8th June 2018

Standard rate


Saturday Night Barn Dance

Barbeque food, beer, entertainment, music and dancing.  Country barn dance theme with comfortable dress down attire.  Free, limited coach transport to and from specific pick up points in Warminster and Frome.  £30.00.


Draft Programme

The programme for the symposium is now available here


ABWAK is able to provide small grants (£50) to assist Professional Members in attending the Symposium - there is a simple application process and limited funding available. Please see the Grant pages in the members' area of our website for the ABWAK Workshop Grant application form.  


All programme and workshop content is subject to change.


Hosted by ZSL London Zoo - Thursday 26th July 2018

Berkshire College of Agriculture

hosted by Fota Wildlife Park - 7 - 8 July 2018