Animal Diaries Archive
Out with the old, in with the new... (just kidding, Gaz)
28 April 2006
The 25th of April 2006 will always be known as the end of an era for the Reptiles Department with the departure of "wild man" Gary Sippel.
Some would say Master Sippel was born with scales instead of skin. His passion for reptiles bloomed at a young age while working the family dairy farm at Murgon wrangling anything he could get his hands on, regardless of whether or not he knew what it was.
A few years down the track and we see a fresh-faced country boy rocking up at Australia Zoo's front gates pleading for a volunteer position. Unfortunately the pre-pubescent Murgonite had to wait until the ripe old age of 16 before being legally able to sign up. Not to worry; good things come to those who wait and it wasn't long before Gary started to make his presence known, volunteering in his school holidays and while at university (studying urban gender diversity). By the end of his degree, Australia Zoo was all too happy to offer Gaz a full-time position as a reptile keeper, where he certainly made his mark - not only as top-notch keeper, but also in the Crocoseum, where he was always keen to get behind the microphone and spin a yarn.
So it marks a sad occasion when we have to say goodbye, but as we look back not too much has changed for young Master Sippel; he's still a mad keen herper and still wrangling anything that moves, even if he doesn't know what it is.From all the crew at Australia Zoo... Hooroo!