Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Meet the New Cub on the Block; KATE DODD Looks at the Hectic Life of Zoo Family the Robinsons

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Meet the New Cub on the Block; KATE DODD Looks at the Hectic Life of Zoo Family the Robinsons

Article excerpt

SHE may be young, but two-year-old Madeline Robinson is shaping up to be the next top zoo keeper of the Darling Downs Zoo at Clifton.

Fearless little aMaddya lives at the zoo with her parents, owners Steve and Stephanie Robinson, and spends her days wandering about keeping the animals entertained, giving visitors the grand tour or helping the keepers out at feeding time.

aShe's always a bit of a worry,a Stephanie said.

aShe'll just reach out and pat them (the animals) because she sees us doing it.

aShe has no fear.a

Stephanie said the hardest part about raising the lion cubs and letting her daughter play with them was that Madeline had to learn she could not always go in and play with them as they got older and became more of a danger.

aIt's a good learning curve for her though, she has to learn to respect them.a

Stephanie, who oversees the running of the zoo with her husband, said life there was hectic and crazy and was one of those careers where ayou've got no life outside of worka because she was on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

aLiving here at the zoo, we don't get what other people do and housework always comes in second,a she said.

Stephanie said starting up the zoo was her husband Steve's dream.

aI was always steered away from a career with animals because my mother always said there was no career with them,a she said.

aBut after she passed, I met my husband and we decided to start a zoo.a

Stephanie said it was a long and difficult journey to get the zoo up and running and they had overcome many obstacles.

Stephanie said no day at the zoo was the same as another a there might be the same chores and motions to go through, but each was different.

aFirst of all you start all the food preparations for the morning and spend an hour cutting up the different foods, then you start all the different chores.

aThere's cleaning, feeding, checking up on animals to make sure they're okay and made it through the night. …

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