A salute to Hayley on World Ranger Day

Koala whisperer Hayley Shute Photo: Australian Reptile Park

The Australian Reptile Park shone a light on its koala whisperer Hayley Shute on World Female Ranger Day on June 23.

Shute, who is Life Sciences Manager at the Park as well as being Conservation Manager at Aussie Ark, has been dedicated to wildlife conservation, her entire life.

It’s a passion she was born with.

“I was that little child who had skinks in the backyard and made homes for them,” she said.

“All my friends were playing with dolls and I had snails!”

In her early teens Shute started volunteering at animal parks and zoos including the Australian Reptile Park, where she “hit her stride” and started paid work.

Hayley Shute early in her career Photo: Australian Reptile Park

She hasn’t looked back since.

“I’ve been in this industry for almost 25 years,” she said.

“And today I’ve got the best job in the world, working as Manager of Conservation for Aussie Ark.”

Shute has hand-raised more 50 orphan animals and is known as the koala whisperer, specialising in raising Australia’s most iconic marsupial.

Another career highlight is breeding and rewilding endangered species with the Aussie Ark team which enables animals to “live and thrive in the wild as they should”.

Shute’s dedication as ranger and conservationist was recognised at last year’s NSW Business Awards when she was won the coveted award of the state’s most Outstanding Employee of the Year.

On World Female Ranger Day, Shute said she wanted to encourage girls and women worldwide to become wildlife rangers.

Hayley Shute with a squirrel glider Photo Australian Reptile Park

“We need more passionate people, we need heroes, we need people who are going to be at the front of conservation and get bloodied and bruised…but the beneficiary is our wildlife,” she said.

To learn more about the work done by Aussie Ark Wildlife Rangers and Manager of Conservation Hayley Shute please go to aussieark.org.au

Australian Reptile Park