Vanessa Requeijão, 31, from Évora (Portugal), is a keeper at CNRLI since 2011.
Together with her five fellow keepers in Silves, Algarve, Vanessa is one of the few people who can enter the enclosures where the Iberian-lynx live. Gone are the days when she did not know much about felines in general.
“Before I came here, I worked with wild animals, including primates, in a reserve in Alentejo (South of Portugal). But I had never worked with felines”, says this keeper, with a degree in Anthropology.
The desire to better know more about this world led her to apply to CNRLI, when vacancies opened. “I wanted to try the CNRLI to find out more about the species and to work with felines.”
Today, her work consists in feeding lynx, checking the drinking fountains, cleaning and enriching the enclosures for the animals not to be bored. “They all have different personalities. Some are more communicative, others are super hungry, others are quieter and others complain a lot.”
She learned a lot in these five years. “The Iberian-lynx has many characteristics I didn’t know, especially in what concerns the cubs development and couples’ reproduction. There are things that I did not know at all.”
And when she looks back, there are moments more special than others. “So far, what impressed me the most was the first experience of creating a lynx cub by hand. And to watch the birth of lynx is always the high point. It is a unique opportunity. One thing that does not happen easily.”
A team from Wilder has been at CNRLI for two days on March 2015. In this series we show you how is it to work at this centre and all the people who take care of this endangered species.