Perth Zoo Docents come from all walks of life. Let us introduce you to the electrician who now makes enrichment for lions, tigers, and bears!

Meet Terence Goodman, one of our passionate Docents, who has spent three decades enriching the lives of creatures big and small.

In his 30 years as a Perth Zoo Docent, Terry has built hundreds of enrichment activities for animals to hone their hunting, foraging, and thinking skills – from cardboard zebras for Jelani the lion to practice his pounce, to floating fishy hammocks for otters!

Terry’s passion for wildlife and his ingenious creations have left a lasting mark on the Zoo’s community and our animal residents.


Terry’s journey into the animal kingdom began with a desire to give back. Nearing retirement, he found himself seeking a meaningful way to use his skills as a handyman, so he joined his late wife Maggie Goodman as a Perth Zoo Docent.

Since then Terry has been a regular fixture at the Zoo, armed with his toolbox, paintbrushes, and enough recycled cardboard to literally build a giraffe.

“I’ve always worked with my hands, and I love building and getting stuck into things,” Terry said.

“I rarely know what my creations are going to be until towards the end! I just start building and see where it ends up, and my colleague Eveline Read often helps paint, to bring the final piece together.”

Terry preparing enrichment treats for chimpanzees in Entebbe, Uganda.
Terry’s talents extend far beyond cardboard creatures, building swings for Orangutan, making sweet honeycomb ice blocks for Sun Bears, and maintaining the flora of animal habitats! Each of his creations is tailored thoughtfully to the needs and behaviours of each animal to ensure they thrive here at the Zoo.

“I’ve had so many incredible experiences in my time at the Zoo and met so many wonderful people. I have even volunteered with Orangutan in Borneo, Sun Bears in Laos, and elephants in Thailand!”

“People’s reactions when I tell them I build activities for exotic animals are pretty fun.

“But the best part of it all is watching the animals use their natural instincts to discover the enrichment, and the enjoyment they get out of destroying what I make.”

We are so lucky to have people like Terry dedicate their time to our cause. In fact, there are more than 300 Docents who volunteer their time all year round to help ensure the welfare of our 1500 animal residents, and to give our visitors the most amazing experience.

Giving tours, helping visitors, maintaining our gardens, preserving our archives, building enrichment, and managing close encounters are just some of the critical roles they do for our Zoo, and we couldn’t do it with them.

This Volunteer Week we wanted to say THANK YOU to Terry and all of our incredible Docents.

Over the past 42 years, the Perth Zoo Docent Association has helped to inspire the next generation of conservationists and create a world where humanity and wildlife can thrive together.