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Ski Dubai’s unconventional animal care specialist: a South African’s unique journey

Sherona Dhunraj is liable for caring for 31 large King and Gentoo penguins, including Zeus, Gummy, and Lulu, at the Mall of the Emirates.

Sherona Dhunraj is liable for caring for 31 large King and Gentoo penguins, including Zeus, Gummy, and Lulu, at the Mall of the Emirates.

Sherona Dhunraj, a 35-year-old senior animal care specialist, has found her dream job in one of the world’s hottest countries, where she works with snow-loving birds at Ski Dubai. Her career path is as unusual as it is inspiring.

Passion for Animal Welfare

Ms. Dhunraj’s work at Ski Dubai is centered on animal behavior and welfare, a role that allows her to engage with these unique and cold-weather-loving creatures. Her enthusiasm for her job is palpable, and she eagerly anticipates each shift.

A Non-Traditional Journey

Sherona’s path to becoming an animal care specialist took some unexpected turns. With a university degree in forensic psychology, she initially ventured into the fields of police profiling and human resources administration. However, her true passion lay elsewhere.

A Life-Altering Opportunity

In 2019, while working as an animal behaviorist at Durban Aquarium, uShaka Sea World, she came across an unexpected opportunity that would change the course of her career. 

A vacancy for a penguin trainer at Ski Dubai ignited her curiosity and led her to follow her heart, eventually landing her in a role that she finds deeply fulfilling.

Sherona Dhunraj’s journey underscores the importance of pursuing one’s passion and being open to unexpected opportunities. Her unique career path serves as an inspiration to others who may be contemplating a switch to a field that truly ignites their passion.

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