SAAMBR hosts guests from Ocean Park, Hong Kong

Christie Chung and Wing Sum Bud from Hong Kong's Ocean Park (a marine mammal park, oceanarium, animal theme park and amusement park) recently spent a week in the education department at uShaka Sea World, as part of an International Zoo Educators' Association (IZE) exchange programme.

Christie Chung and Wing Sum Bud, of Hong Kong's Ocean Park, pose with Jabu the seal at SAAMBR. (Image: SAAMBR)

IZEA promotes ideas and exchange between member facilities by various means, including the IZEA Job Exchange Programme, which provides a platform to connect hosting institutions and IZAE members. SAAMBR is an active member of IZEA and a sought-after hosting facility.

Chung's primary role at Ocean Park is the development education programmes, while Bud spends her time guiding school groups and assisting with the development of artistic teaching aids. The duo said their expectation was that by spending time at uShaka Sea World, they would be exposed to a different culture of learning and interpretation of the marine environment. 

On arrival in South Africa they spent two days in Cape Town, before heading to Durban. Although they only spent a week with SAAMBR staff and the outreach team, the visitors said they learned so much more than they had imagined possible.

Chung's highlights included visiting rural schools with the outreach team, immersing herself in the education volunteer programme and spending time with learners. She was awed by the passion and commitment of SAAMBR's full-time staff, as well as that of the volunteers.

Bud was not only inspired by the work done by the educators, but was drawn to the work done by the rehabilitation staff, particularly those working with the seals, turtles and penguins. She enjoyed exchanging ideas with staff in formal and informal settings.

The ladies spent their last weekend in South Africa visiting uMfolozi Game Reserve with their new South African friends from SAAMBR. It was the first time that either had been wildlife viewing. 

“It was my first time seeing animals that I used to see in books. It was truly amazing,” said Bud. 

SAAMBR looks forward to hosting more international staff through the IZEA programme in the near future.

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