A BALLARAT animal lover is on a mission to bring the zoo to you, while at the same time protecting some of Australia’s most vulnerable species.
Michael Church, founder of new Ballarat company The Rookeepers, has always been passionate about animals.
Ever since he was four years old and an animal demonstrator visited his kindergarten, Mr Church knew it was something he wanted to do.
Now he owns 10 species of animals and tours the Ballarat region showcasing his collection and teaching people about animal populations and their environment.
With animals ranging from the endangered Victorian carpet python – whose numbers have dwindled to about 200 – to tiny squirrel gliders, Mr Church is on a mission to ensure as many people know about Australian wildlife as possible.
A former animal keeper at the Ballarat Wildlife Park, Mr Church said his passion for animals drove him to share his knowledge.
“It’s great seeing the looks on young kids’ faces and it’s a great way to teach them about conservation,” he said.