|Things Looking Up for Robbery Victim|
SEA LIFE girl Karen Richmond has bounced back with a vengeance from a devastating career blow that would have driven many to despair.
The 26-year-old's triumph over adversity reached a peak last week when she met childhood idol Terry Nutkins, veteran wildlife presenter best known from The Really Wild Show.
Karen introduced Terry to the otters and seals at the Scottish SEA LIFE Sanctuary in Oban, where she has just been promoted to senior aquarist in charge of all the attraction's marine life.
Meeting Terry capped a good year for Karen, whose ambitions suffered a severe set-back two years ago when her Oxford aquatics shop C K Aquatics was robbed and the entire stock of tropical marine fish and equipment stolen.
Karen had taken over the shop two years earlier when its former owners went bust, and had gradually built it back into a profitable business.
The theft left her penniless, but it failed to dent Karen's determination to carve out a career working with wildlife...and her persistence was rewarded when her second application for a job at a SEA LIFE centre got her a foot through the door at Oban.
"I started in May and have loved every minute of it," said the former Wood Green Secondary School pupil.
Karen, of Farmer's Close, Witney, gained a Diploma in Animal Care from the former Warren Farm Agricultural College and went straight into a job at Fish R Us where she was an employee for nearly four years before becoming the owner.
"I'd always wanted to work with animals, and through the shop developed a real interest in fish as well," she said.
"The Sanctuary has resident common seals and a pair of North American otters as well as a huge array of native and tropical marine life, so it's just perfect," she added.
Since Terry Nutkins was one of the people who first inspired her interest in wildlife she could scarcely believe her luck when he visited with a Scottish BBC crew who were filming 'A Day In The Life Of...' series.
"He originally opened both our seal and otter facilities and was returning to mark the Sanctuary's 30th anniversary," Karen explained.
"It was a real privilege to introduce him to otters Lewis and Isla and listen as he talked to the BBC about his early life helping 'Ring Of Bright Water' author Gavin Maxwell to rear African otters just a bit further up the west coast," she added.
The event has certainly helped dim the memory of the misery she felt after that devastating shop raid, and Karen is looking forwards with even greater optimism.
Well she might, for while perfectly content at SEA LIFE's oldest attraction for the time being, there are now more than 30 SEA LIFE centres in Europe and the US and a host of exciting opportunities opening up for good animal care workers.
Outside work Karen, who is looking for a new home in Oban itself, is just one training session away from being a fully qualified scuba diver.
Issued by The Scottish SEA LIFE Sanctuary|
For more details, please contact Alex Blackman on 01631 720386
Press Release date: 21st September 2009
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