January 11, 2018

10 Questions: Anna Palmroth

Anna Palmroth is the carer of Ähtäri Zoo's two giant pandas.

  1. What’s your morning routine?

My mornings can be very different, always depending on the day’s programme. As long as I get a big cup of tea, everything is possible!

  1. What was your dream profession as a child?

As a kid my dream profession kept changing a lot, but it was always something in which I could move a lot and what would also be a little challenging.

  1. During your career, you’ve cared for slightly exceptional animals. What is your most memorable animal encounter?

I have a vivid memory from when I was less than three years old and my aunt lifted me onto the back of her horse. That might be my first memory, and I’m on still on that path.

  1. What is your favourite animal (as in, species)?

There are many, but at least two I can’t choose between: a giraffe and a chinchilla. Giraffes are majestic animals, and I’ve found them fascinating ever since I was a child. Chinchillas, for their part, are tiny, incredibly cute, funny and intelligent.

  1. You’ll be looking after the pandas that are soon to settle in Finland. How do you make friends with a panda?

It’s really important that the carer and the pandas have a good relationship, so it needs to be maintained continuously. In the beginning, you let the pandas familiarise themselves with you by watching, listening and smelling the new person – and a panda cake of course speeds up the process significantly.

  1. What do you deem will be the biggest challenges for the pandas to get accustomed to the Finnish lifestyle?

The circumstances in Ähtäri are as good as it’s been possible to create, so there shouldn’t be too many obstacles. The carer, however, will face a few challenges, because the pandas of course need to have things like snowmen…

  1. Which Finnish delicacy do you think will most please the bears?

Due to their diet, the pandas can’t really enjoy a lot of Finnish treats, as the correct food is one of the biggest factors in the animal’s wellbeing. However, I’m sure Finnish carrots and apples will suit them just fine.

  1. What kinds of activities have you planned for the pandas?

They will have climbing opportunities, small waterfalls and different kinds of toys.

  1. How do you relax?

In the summertime I like gardening. Other than that, I’m like a panda: eat well and sleep loads.

  1. What’s your favourite holiday destination and why?

I like Spain, particularly Valencia and other old cities. The Spanish cuisine is amazing, as are the warmth and the light.


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