A PIANO teacher and part-time student has swapped the sounds of music for those of orang-utans and pygmy elephants in South-East Asia.
Sean Kinsella, 20, of Llangollen, is following his passion for working with animals on a 28-day voluntary placement in Malaysia and Borneo.
Working through an environmental education charity called Ape Malaysia, Sean has spent two weeks at Zoo Negara in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.
He has now moved on to a 16-day experience on the Malaysian island of Borneo, where he is living with the Orang Sungai, an indigenous people living along the Kinabatangan River.
Sean, who flew to South-East Asia on February 4, organised the placement as part of his Animal Studies degree at Glyndwr University.
Before he left Sean said: “Pygmy elephants and orang-utans are endangered species in Malaysia and I’ll be spending my time in the zoo and out in the wild working on projects to restore and conserve their natural habitats.
“The placement will help with my studies, but I love travelling and I’ve never been to Asia before so it has added appeal. I’m also a Buddhist so it will be good to see how the religion is practised in Malaysia.”
Lucy Jones, work experience officer at Glyndwr University’s careers centre, said: “This will be a fantastic experience for Sean, I’m sure. We are always stressing to current students and graduates the importance of having real-life work experience alongside their academic studies which they can speak about to potential employers.
“Sean has been really proactive in organising such an interesting and unusual work placement related to his course and this will help his employment prospects tremendously should he wish to pursue a career working with animals.”