When Peter was a child he always knew that he wanted to work with animals, it just wasn’t clear what species.
His first internship was at an edutainment park in the Netherlands, where he worked with harbor seals. He did the internship twice, making his choice that marine mammals were going to be a part of his life and career path. At the end of his internships in 2005 he began working at Ouwehands Zoo in the Netherlands where he worked for five years with California Sea Lions. This great zoo gave him the opportunity to start his career in this field. The Ouwehands Zoo supported their trainers learning the most current care practices for marine mammals and sent Peter to his first IMATA conference in 2008.
At the conference Peter met trainers from all over the world, and from the expertise shared he knows that is where he began to set higher standards for himself and his career development. In 2010 he was given the opportunity to move to Canada where he had the privilege to work in a multiple species animal show. The show’s participants included walruses, California sea lions, and bottlenose dolphins.
Peter’s next career move was to Spain, where he was given the unique opportunity to work with killer whales at Tenerife. He found he had to learn a whole new training strategy, as killer whales were very different from the species he had worked with previously. He found that he needed to be conscious of the whole environment, and he learned he learned how to use more detailed training methods.
The peak of Peter’s career came when he was working with a young deaf killer whale named Morgan. She was the topic for his formal presentation at the 2013 IMATA conference, where he was the recipient of the People’s Choice Award. From Tenerife, Peter went to Marineland France where he continued to work with killer whales. After a year he got the opportunity to work for park in Sweden, where he is today.
The goal of the training team was to change the training system in such a way that involves teaching both trainers and animals to get to the level where they want them to be. It has been a big challenge and a great opportunity in his career as a marine mammal trainer. Peter went from a Senior Marine Mammal Trainer at Kolmarden Djurpark, working with bottlenose dolphins, African fur seals, harbor seals and grey seals to his current job Coordinator Animal Training of the same park.