We are a multi-award winning, family run business launched in February 2014 and based in Bedfordshire, England. We also cover a wide surrounding area (please phone to discuss your location or visit our FAQ page). If you have a child who is animal mad, if you are a teacher looking for an inspiring presentation or workshop, or you’re looking for an unusual, educational, attention grabbing feature for your event or party- we may be just what you’re looking for! Our animal encounters are 5 star rated on Facebook.
We are proud to say that we are Bedfordshire's only multi-award winning company having won the award for 'Website of The Year' at the 2019 SME Bedfordshire Business Awards and the 'Green' and 'Business Innovation' awards at the 2018 SME Bedfordshire Business Awards
We are a limited company, registered with Companies House and are have public and product liability insurance with up to £5,000,000 of cover. Our presenters are enhanced DBS checked (previously CRB) Teaching Talons hold an Animal Activities License, no. 19/017833 with a 5 star rating from Central Bedfordshire Council. This has replaced the Performing Animals Licenses, which are now null and void. Please note, animal encounters companies without an AAL are now operating illegally. Teaching Talons has a Type 1 Animal Transporter Authorization Certificate. We don’t own, or use any animal classed by law as a DWA (Dangerous Wild Animal). Any animal we own that is protected by CITES (Convention for the International Trade of Endangered Species) has all relevant paperwork, such as Article 10's and our birds are registered with the Independent Bird Register.
ENHANCED DBS CHECKED
PUBLIC & PRODUCT LIABILITY INSURED UP TO £5,000,000
Animal Activities License, no. 19/017833
TRANSPORT AUTHORIZATION CERTIFICATE
FIRST AID TRAINED
LEAD PRESENTER &
Becky is an experienced animal keeper, presenter and trainer- having worked in the zoo industry at three different animal collections. She set up Teaching Talons Ltd in 2014.
She has over ten years experience working and volunteering with animals (everything from kennels and stables to farms and a wildlife sanctuary in Africa!).
Her qualifications include a BSc. Honours degree in Applied Animal Behaviour and Training, achieved at Bishop Burton College.
Becky also worked as the lead education officer during her time at Combe Martin Wildlife Park and has guest lectured the topic of Animal Behaviour at North Hertfordshire College.
In 2017 Becky completed BIAZA certified training in positive reinforcement animal training. She is also a professional member of ABWAK and a member of the Bedfordshire bat group.
Lindsay is an experienced animal keeper, presenter and lecturer.
After graduating with a BSc Honours Degree in Zoology, Lindsay was selected as the European representative for dolphin and whale conservation research in the Bahamas where she worked with a team of leaders in the field.
Lindsay later worked at Woburn Safari Park as a Seasonal Animal Keeper before obtaining a PGCE qualification and taking a post as a lecturer teaching Animal Sciences. Lindsay taught a large range of topics with a focus on animal biology, anatomy, nutrition, behaviour and animal welfare.
Lindsay later returned to Woburn Safari Park, this time in the capacity of Full Time Animal Keeper on the demonstration team, where she worked closely with parrots, birds of prey and sea lions.
Dawn ran an animal encounters company before joining the Teaching Talons team.
As a result, she has plenty of experience in providing a ‘mobile zoo’ presentation to a high standard and we’re thrilled to have her on board.
With a city & Guilds Teaching Assistant level 2 NVQ, she also comes to us with over a decades experience working as an Early Years practitioner- ultimately in a senior role.
Dawn is also currently halfway through studying for her foundation degree in Animal Management at Shuttleworth College (on track for a Distinction!) and has also completed volunteer work at Shepreth Wildlife Park.
Russ is our owner and director, as well as a fully trained presenter and animal handler for Teaching Talons. He is also Becky and Tara's Dad!
He is the business mind behind us and handles all of our accounts and records.
Russ is emergency first aid trained.
As well as Teaching Talons, his other passion is football. He coaches Flitwick Eagles under 15's and several 'walking football' sessions. He has a wealth of experience working with children and SEN groups.
Tara & Wendy
Tara is an experienced senior animal keeper, presenter and trainer, specializing in birds with several years working at two zoological collections. She has a LANTRA award in falconry and BIAZA certified training in Raptor Health and Longevity as well as being a professional member of ABWAK.
Tara is also a freelance designer working for zoological facilities to create educational signage and graphic design (she made our website!) as well as running her own jewellery business.
Our second owner and director is Wendy, who often makes a great packed lunch for the team (animals included!) when we are out for the day and often attends fete and fair bookings. She is Becky and Tara's Mum!
Both Tara and Wendy are our cover presenters and animal handlers.
Polly joined the team in 2021, after previously working alongside Becky, as an educational wildlife ranger at Center Parcs Woburn Forest- which is how they met. She is also a qualified dog groomer.
As well as her wildlife and animal experience, she is a level 3 qualified Nursery Nurse, has previously worked as a Teaching Assistant and also works part time as a school lunch time supervisor!
Polly has plenty of experience to ensure that both children and creatures alike have a fantastic animal encounter!